Visit the  Freer Gallery of Art , at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., on Google Art Project. Scroll through the collection and click on images, or use the museum viewer, to look at the different works of art on display.


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From the gallery, select the two paired works titled Cranes and respond to the series of questions provided to explore them in depth. Use the filter functions to locate the works more readily.


Complete this activity after you have explored the Freer Gallery of Art site through the Google Art Project.




1. Describe the two works by providing the following information for each:

a. Who is the artist?

b. When was the work created?

c. What medium is the work (e.g., sculpture, painting)?

d. What materials were used (e.g., clay, bronze, oil, acrylic)?

e. How large is the work? Provide dimensions.

f. Is the work realistic? Abstract?

g. What is the subject of the work?

2. Compare and contrast the two works of art by analyzing the formal composition.

a. How is line used in each?

b. How does the artist use space?

c. How does the artist create visual balance?

d. Identify elements that are emphasized in each work. How are they emphasized? What, if anything, becomes subordinated?

e. How does the artist incorporate rhythm or repetition?

f. The works were intended as a pair. How does the juxtaposition of the two affect the composition of the single works?

3. Take a closer look at the works for their meanings.

a. What elements of the two compositions are characteristic of the qualities you learned about Zen-Buddhist art in the Edo Period?

b. Keeping in mind that a work can have more than one meaning or several layers of meaning, what conclusions can you draw about the artists’ goals or intentions?

4. Recall your initial reactions to the works.

a. What was your initial reaction to the two works?

b. How have they changed after you looked at them closely?


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