MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies / Course details
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This module is designed to equip you with a range of critical, theoretical and practical approaches to curating art. During the course, we examine the role, work and skills of the curator in museums and galleries, within historical, critical and professional contexts.
The course is devised to develop your knowledge and understanding of:
- The theory and practice of art curating in diverse institutional and professional settings
- The cultural, practical and ethical issues relating to the acquisition, interpretation and display of art
- How knowledge and cultural authority is produced within the art museum, and how this has, in turn, been challenged by artists, critics and curators themselves
Teaching and learning methods
Some of the lectures for this unit will be delivered online.
Knowledge and understanding
- Critical understanding of the theory and practice of curating in museums and galleries
- Knowledge of the institutional and professional contexts within which curators work
- A critical understanding of the history and practice of art museum curatorship, including key debates relating to ethics, access and authority
- Knowledge of key processes in art collecting and curatorship
- Understanding of the practice of curating in its historical contexts and its ‘professionalisation’ as a historical process
- Further experience in researching and writing (both for an academic and a general reader), team-based work and presentation skills
- Undertake self-directed learning and skills acquisition
- Conduct independent, critical fieldwork
- Develop appropriate methodological and analytical skills
- Apply skills and ideas learned in one institutional context to another, while remaining aware of the complexity of the issues
Fieldwork is subject to government guidelines.
- Initiate practical and creative solutions to specific criteria.
- Communicate complex research findings through clear written and verbal articulation, supported by appropriate technological tools
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Retrieve, select and critically evaluate information from a variety of sources, including libraries, archives, and the Internet
- Communicate information and ideas effectively in a professional, as well as an academic, environment.
- Critically evaluate personal performance through monitoring and analytical reflection.
- Demonstrate independent learning ability suitable for continuing study and professional development.
- - Gain professional insight into curating and related roles - Articulate clearly key debates related to curating art - Presentation skills - Manage time efficiently - Generate ideas and think laterally - Map career directions and trajectories
Formative or Summative
Essay Proposal surgery and written comments
Academic advisor meeting
Altshuler, Bruce, The Avant-garde in Exhibition: New Art in the 20th Century, Abrams,
Altshuler, Bruce, Salon to Biennial – Exhibitions That Made Art History Volume 1: 1863-
1959, Phaidon, 2008.
Altshuler, Bruce, Biennials and Beyond: Exhibitions that Made Art History Volume 2:
1962-2002, Phaidon, 2013.
Barker, Emma (ed), Contemporary Cultures of Display, Yale University Press, 1999.
Fritsch, Juliette (ed.), Museum Gallery Interpretation and Material Culture, Routledge,
Greenberg, Reesa and Ferguson, Bruce and Nairne, Sandy (eds), Thinking about
exhibitions, Routledge, 1996.
Haskell, Francis The ephemeral museum: old master paintings and the rise of the art
exhibition, Yale University Press, 2000.
Klonk, Charlotte, Spaces of Experience, Yale University Press, 2009.
McClellan, Andrew, The Art Museum from Boullée to Bilbao, University of California Press,
Martinon, Jean-Paul, The Curatorial: a Philosophy of Curating, Bloomsbury
McClellan, Andrew, Inventing the Louvre: Art, Politics and the Origins of the Modern
Museum in Eighteenth-century Paris, CUP, 1999.
O'Neill, Paul, The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture(s), MIT Press,
O'Neill, Paul and Mick Wilson (eds.), Curating research, Open Editions, 2015.
Perry, Gill and Cunningham, Colin (eds) Academies, museums and canons of art, Yale
University Press, 1999.
Prior, Nick, Museums and Modernity, Berg, 2000.
Rees Leahy, Helen, Museum Bodies. The Politics and Practices of Visiting and
Viewing, Ashgate, 2012.
Serota, Nicholas, Experience or Interpretation: The Dilemma of Museums of
Modern Art, London: Thames and Hudson, 1996.
Taylor, Brandon Art for the nation: exhibitions and the London public, 1747-2001,
Manchester University Press, 1999.
Whitehead, Christopher, Interpreting Art in Museums and Galleries, Routledge, 2012.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Andrew Hardman||Unit coordinator|