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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Midterm Paper Free Women of Color. Visual & Performing Arts Essay (Essay Sample)


Attend one exhibition from the Cooper Hewitt, Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of Mexican Art or New Exhibitions Museum, and choose one piece of design to trace back through history for your midterm paper. The essay should be 1500 words long, and include brief biographical information about the designer, a visual description of the piece you’ve chosen to research, and an argument on how this piece fits in the history of graphic design. Think in both directions of time: what led to this piece being made (influences) and what does this piece lead to later in the future (impact). 
You must do research on this piece from any museum materials (wall captions, exhibition catalog essays by curators, etc.) you encounter on your visit and supplement with additional reading at the New York Public Library and online. You must cite at least one book you referred to for your essay. This is a longer form version of your weekly comparison assignments. Dig in and dig deep. Learn and present the lineage and effect of the piece you choose. Use these two essays on design pieces as an example.


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Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape by Agostino Brunias is one of the paintings located in the Brooklyn Museum. Agostino has a long history in the world of painting. The events of the colonial era inspired most of his works. British state owners hired him to paint people. In most cases, he was required to paint the people of mixed race. As well, some of his paintings bring insight into life during the colonial period. A good example is the Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape. The painting is a depiction of the influence of the diverse Caribbean, African, and European culture in the 18th century. Besides, Agostino's work is believed to have had a political motive in the Caribbean. The motive was to advocate for an anti-slavery community. This explains the name of this painting. He was advocating for the Caribbean rulers to free the woman of color and their children. Agostino also aimed at exposing the racial hierarchies of the West Indies. The artist was focused on painting at various Negro events such as dances, festivals, markets, and other cultural activities. His work was famous for showing the various interactions between the wealthy colonists and the natives. Therefore, this is an indication of where Agostino got the inspiration of making the Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape painting.

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