The Role of the Art Historian

This page deals with the demands of Question 2.

In this task (not actually a question) you are required to faux publish i.e, write an article about the Archibald Prize for a hypothetical artworld journal e.g, Art and Australia, Art Monthly, that reviews the 2016 Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW, from an ‘art historian’s’ perspective.

The proposed article should include the following;

  • A review (not a critique) of the 2015 Archibald from the perspective of an art historian.
  • *Remember that the role of the historian in relation to this task is not to provide value judgements about the work on exhibition but rather to inform an audience as to where and how these works might sit/fit in relation to the tradition of Portraiture in general. This could possibly include;
  1. (References to works that adhere closely to conventional ideas of portraiture derived from historical / cultural perspectives or perceptions.
  2. References to works that adhere closely to associated traditions (which includes the above) and conventions. * conventions can include methods / modes of representation, material usage, scale of works etc.
  3. References to works that have stylistic similarities to the works of other artists / movements
  4. References to works use other conventions associated with Portraiture
  5. References to works that critique traditions and conventions associated with Portraiture).
  • Include background information about the Prize (who, when, where, why and how etc)
  • in your writing tell us what it is that makes the Archibald Prize uniquely Australian.
  • Include at least 2 images (with citations) from the current exhibition



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