As an example, watch this video! Museums make verbal description audio tours for the vision impaired. It’s an important skill in writing about art to be able to describe the visual aspects of the work very clearly. This video serves as a reminder of how to describe what you SEE.

Verbal Descriptions Audio Tour: J.E.H. MacDonald’s The Tangled Garden


1. Select one single object to write about from any of the online collections linked below. It can be any style of artwork, any medium, from anywhere! The artwork can be from any period. Be thoughtful in your selection- find something that interests you!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


2. Begin your paper with an image on a title page that includes the title of the work, the artist, and the link to where the piece was found. 

3. Start writing by simply describing the artwork, what you see. Pick a few important details. What do these things tell us? If you choose to include any historical context or research, please cite your resources!

Next, include a brief statement about your decision-making process. Why did you select this piece? What is significant about the work to you? It could be something as intuitive as liking the colors or something more conceptual like whatever theme the work is trying to deal with is important to you.

Your paper should be NO LESS than 250 words, which should be roughly one page double spaced (SUPER SHORT!) with a basic 12-point font. Remember, this is NOT a research paper. You are not required to have a reference. I want you to use your distinct voice and share your opinion.