Describing a piece from the MU Museum of Art and Archaeology
You have to describe the physical properties of the piece and put it into a historical context.
Use Oxford Art Online to find information about its historical context. The object should be
described and a date or approximate period given on the placard diplayed with the object.
You can also get a desciption for many of the objects from:
Illustrated museum handbook :
a guide to the collections in the Museum of Art and Archaeology,
University of Missouri-Columbia / edited by Osmund Overby ;
with contributions by Jane C. Biers
If the object is attributed to an artist, search the catalog for books about that artist.
Search Oxford Art Online for articles about the period e.g. ancient greece, rome, byzantium.
Focus on the medium - painting, sculpture, pottery, metalware, coinage.
Focus on the subject. a mythological person, biblical scene.
Think how the object was used or how it fit into the culture.
For example, it you are doing one of the sculpturecasts,
Mine the bibliographies in Oxford Art to lead you to books and articles.