Museum Wall Label Examples
Museum Wall Label Student Examples
Below, please see a few examples of the kind of wall label you could write, along with formatting examples for Parts A, B, and C of the assignment.
• These are actual student examples and are not “perfect” in that they sometimes have grammatical or spelling errors, and ways to be improved.
• These should give you an idea of both the format and layout of the assignment but do not offer a one-size-fits-all approach that can be adapted for any artwork or imagery. These are actual student examples, and they are not “perfect” in the sense that they occasionally contain grammatical or spelling errors, as well as areas for improvement.
• These should give you an idea of the assignment’s format and layout, but they do not provide a one-size-fits-all solution that can be adapted for any artwork or imagery.
Instead, please use your creativity, critical thinking, and research skills to create your own one-of-a-kind wall label and approach to your individual assignment.
• Instead, please use your imagination, critical thinking, and research skills to develop your own unique wall label and approach to your individual assignment.
• Artist: Zoumana Sane
• Title: Mami Wata
• Date: c. 1987
• Medium: pigment, glass
• Collection of Herbert M. and Shelley Cole
Mami Wata, also referred to as The Holy Virgin of the Sea, is a water spirit and in this
picture, she is illustrated as a snake charmer, however, in other types of artwork, she can also be
interpreted as a mermaid or a combination of a mermaid and snake charmer. Her name’s literal
translation is “Mother Water” in English pidgin throughout Africa. She is mostly worshipped
throughout many African countries such as Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, and many more. She is a
creation from many African tribes based off of their indigenous history and a fusion of other
religions such as Christianity, Hindu religion, and Muslim religion and then interpreted with
their current history to create a new goddess of worship. For many African people, she is a
symbol of cultural unity between Africans and foreigners in an effort to better understand their
culture. Depending on the culture, she can also be seen as a nurturing mother, a seductive
mistress, a healer in both physical and spiritual ailments, and many more. Due to this, she is not
only adored but many people also fear her immense power.
Part C: Works Consulted
• “Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diaspora: Mami Wata.” Art of Being Tuareg: Sahara Nomads in a Modern World / National Museum of African Art, africa.si.edu/exhibits/mamiwata/intro.html.
• Carwile, Christey. “The Water Goddess in Igbo Cosmology: Ogbuide of Oguta Lake (review).” African Studies Review, vol. 51 no. 3, 2008, pp. 172-173. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/arw.0.0121
• Drewal, Henry John. “Performing the Other: Mami Wata Worship in Africa.” TDR (1988-), vol. 32, no. 2, 1988, pp. 160–185. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1145857 Links to an external site..
• Osinubi, Taiwo Adetunji. “Provincializing Slavery: Atlantic Economies in Flora Nwapa’s Efuru. Research in African Literatures, vol. 45 no. 3, 2014, pp. 1-26. Project MUSE, muse.jhu.edu/article/555709.
Part A: Artwork Information
• Artist: El Zeft
• Title: “Nefertiti in a Gas Mask”
• Date: 2012
• Medium: spray paint graffiti stencil
Part B: Wall Label
Egyptian street artist, El Zeft, created “Nefertiti in a Gas Mask” (2012) to serve as an
accolade to Egyptian women who demonstrated great bravery and strength throughout the
Egyptian Revolution. Egyptian graffiti artists like Zeft have been using this medium as a unique
agitprop, or a piece of propaganda that agitates and resists an oppressive agency. This agitprop
is proof of the unique role women assumed in this movement for Egyptian independence from
the oppressive Mubarak regime. Zeft’s stenciled spray paint image was plastered upon a concrete
wall in Muhammad Mahmud Street alongside many other distinguished murals that reside there.
The Egyptian queen Nefertiti has historically resembled a symbol of rebellion and power; El Zeft
uses these themes to depict the role of women during the Revolution. Amnesty International
decided to repurpose this image to address human rights violations in Egypt by wearing the
image as a mask and using it to decorate banners and flags. Graffiti art in Egypt, such as
“Nefertiti in a Gas Mask”, sparked a movement of feminist protest for Islamic women who rarely
held an active voice throughout history.
• Abu-Lughod, Lila, and Rabab El-Mahdi. “Beyond the ‘Woman Question’ in the Egyptian Revolution.” Feminist Studies, vol. 37, no. 3, 2011, pp. 683–691. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23069928.
• “Agitprop!” Brooklyn Museum: Agitprop! , Brooklyn Museum, 11 Dec. 2015, www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/agitprop.
• Gruber, Christiane. “Nefertiti in a Gas Mask.” The Brooklyn Rail, The Brooklyn Rail, 3 June 2015, brooklynrail.org/2015/06/criticspage/nefertiti-in-a-gas-mask.
• Martin, Michel. “Women Play Vital Role In Egypt’s Uprising.” NPR, NPR, 4 Feb. 2011, www.npr.org/2011/02/04/133497422/Women-Play-Vital-Role-In-Egypts-Uprising.
• Mottura, Bettina. Book. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017. Print.
• Ruiter, Adrienne de. “Imaging Egypt’s Political Transition in (Post-)Revolutionary Street Art: On the Interrelations between Social Media and Graffiti as Media of Communication.” Media, Culture & Society, vol. 37, no. 4, May 2015, pp. 581–601, doi:10.1177/0163443714566901.
Part A: Artwork Information
• Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds
• “Building Minnesota”
• Minneapolis, Alongside the Mississippi River
• Photo courtesy of the Artist.
Part B: Wall Label
One hundred twenty-eight years later, thirty-eight and two Dakotan Native American men are
honorably mourned alongside the Mississippi river. Thirty-eight men were sentenced to death by
President Abraham Lincoln while two were sentenced by President Andrew Johnson. All thirty-eight
and two men were hung and sentenced in the pursuit of freedom, and under the executive
orders of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson during the Dakotan Rebellion. The
reclamation of color and Native American history is honored at the embankment of the
Mississippi river, where the Pillsbury and Gold Medal’s wheat companies are located. The
executive order of President Lincoln was to push on the westward expansion to increase the
Wheatland’s. After the brutality of December 26,1862 thirty-eight and two men remain alive and
displayed in honor through metal signs with the display of each one of their names and the
reasoning of each of their deaths. Edgar Heap of Birds purposely re-embraces history and evokes
the true cause of the deaths of these courageous men. The unheard and unseen history of indigenous
North America remains widely unheard.
Part C: Works Consulted
• Birds, Edgar Heap Of. “Artist Talk: Edgar Heap of Birds.” Walker Art Center, Walker Art Center, 24 June 2017, walkerart.org/magazine/edgar-heap-of-birds-artist-talk.
• Caldwell, Ellen C. “Honoring History With Edgar Heap of Birds Building Minnesota.” JSTOR Daily, 3 Sept. 2017. JStor, daily.jstor.org/edgar-heap-of-birds-building-minnesota/.
• Chomsky, Carol. The United States-Dakota War Trials: A Study in Military Injustice. Stanford Law Review, November, 1990.
• Flint, Sarah Louisa. The Wounds Of the Dakota War. James Madison University, 2011.
• Regan, Sheila. “In Minnesota, Listening to Native Perspectives on Memorializing the Dakota War.” Hyperallergic, Hyperallergic, 11 July 2017, hyperallergic.com/385682/in-minnesotalistening-to-native-perspectives-on-memorializing-the-dakota-war/.