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Observe, Interpret, & Analyze

Download a fillable pdf of the exercise


1. View the Fine Arts Center’s eMuseum permanent collection


2. Chose an artwork that:

  • Has many details
  • You might have questions about
  • Could potentially tell a story

Below are some examples. Find your own in our eMuseum collection.

Americanese: 180 Degrees

Margaret Kasahara, Americanese: 180 Degrees, 2014

Bulto, Our Lady of Guadalupe

Eulogio Ortega & Zoraida G. Ortega, Bulto, Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1996

Jean Charlot, Dance of El Tepozteco, 1957

Jean Charlot, Dance of El Tepozteco, 1957

3. In a notebook or on a piece of paper, draw a chart like the one below:

What do you see?
What do you think about what you see?



4. Select an artwork from the eMuseum.

Link to object in eMuseum:

5. Set a timer for between 5 and 10 minutes.


6. Write down observations and interpretations.


When time is up, in a small group or all together, talk or write about:

What observations and interpretations did you make?
What is the relationship between an observation and interpretation? In what ways can observations be used as evidence for an interpretation?

What happened the longer you looked at this artwork?
Analyze how your observations and interpretations changed over time. In other words, what was different about your first thoughts (at the top) opposed to your later ones (towards the bottom)?

What questions do you have after spending a lot of time with this artwork?

What more does this artwork make you think of?
Can you connect this work, these ideas, or any of your thoughts to other things you are learning?


Header image: Arthur G. Dove, Fog Horns (detail)