Ancient Greek Olympics – Art History

 Each student curator is required to produce a formal research paper for their particular “room.” This is much like a museum catalog paper or chapter providing a specific research argument about the exhibition to add to a catalogue (I suggest that you look at a recent museum exhibition catalogue for writing samples).  These individual research papers must form specific arguments connecting the choice of artworks to the theme utilizing academic research to support all arguments made. The research paper also stands alone from the exhibition allowing the exhibition to emphasize the points developed in the paper but without direct reference between the two elements.                                  

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The paper should begin with an introduction to the theme being considered and rationale for selecting works. A strong thesis statement will lead the paper into discussing works of art, analyzing them in connection with the theme that you have chosen comparing, contrasting, and supporting your argument. The paper must then include a conclusion and must have proper citations throughout in MLA format.


The paper should be between 5-7 pages. This paper may be incorporated into the exhibition, but you must consider the method of delivery as 5-7 pages of text is unlikely to be read by the average museum-goer. If you wish to combine this with your museum project, consider cutting out bits of useful information to display with the works that you have chosen.



  • This is an argumentative paper under the umbrella of your group’s theme. The concept is a funneling down to a narrow theme about a topic (the topic that your group had chosen).
    • Example: Your group chooses Religion. Your room might be devoted to the Mesopotamian Period. You would then compile artifacts that discuss the topic of religion and demonstrate unique aspects of that relgion and culture through their formal characteristics relating to the context.  
  • Images in-text are distracting, especially when I make some comments and it quickly ruins all the work you did to put the images where you thought the text flowed. Place the images at the end with a full MLA caption and reference to them parenthetically in-text (Figure #). 
  • Write as if I am a blind man. Describe the pieces and don’t assume anything of me. For instance, “You will see…” The more formal detail you can describe, the richer the paper and the more connections you might find to support your argument or connect formally with the theme or context.
  • TONE! We are in an academic setting and you are an undergraduate student. First person is out of the question as you are currently “interns” in my gallery. Once you are published curators, then I might care about your personal opinions. Until then, please support all your arguments with researched academic articles.
  • Research: Make sure you get beyond the encyclopedic resources and that there are authors attributed to the work



Ok, so our group chose Ancient Greek Olympics as our topic.



The 6 artifacts in our ‘ room’ are as follows:


1. greek wrestlers (ca. 200s BC, now in Uffizi, Florence)


2. Victorious Athlete The Vaison Daidoumenos Hadrianic version of 5th century BC Greek original Winning at the ancient Games


3. The Diskobolos or Discus Thrower, 2nd century CE. Roman copy of a 450-440 BCE


4. Heraria Spartan Runner Girl Victress


5 and 6. Pankration and Greek winner



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