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BA Art History and English Literature / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Exhibitions that Changed the (Art) World

Unit code AHCP33212
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Art History and Cultural Practices
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course considers key moments in the exhibition of modern and contemporary art. Concentrating on key case studies, the course explores the historical context of these exhibitions, analysing their form, content, reception and subsequent interpretation. The course will also examine the legacies of these case studies, and will explore the specific ways in which they have affected modern and contemporary art and its display.

Aims

  • To examine key moments in exhibition history from the twentieth century to the present
  • To introduce students to a diverse range of strategies of exhibitions and display
  • To explore the critical and theoretical implications of these exhibitions
  • To analyse the reception, interpretation and legacies of key case studies
  • To consider ways in which exhibitions produce and/or frame art historical knowledge

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of key events and approaches
  • Identify and describe a range of strategies and their critical and historical context
  • Critically appraise an exhibition using a range of methodological tools
  • To develop visual and textual analysis
  • To apply critical and theoretical concepts to the understanding and analysis of historical exhibitions
  • To relate key developments in exhibition history to broader patterns of historical and cultural change
  • To undertake independent research using a range of resources: galleries, journals, books, the internet
  • To collaborate effectively to produce a group project
  • To use appropriate technology to support the completion of the group project
  • To communicate information and ideas effectively in the presentation of the group project
  • The ability to undertake and manage a process of group research and team working
  • The ability to meet deadlines and take responsibility for one’s own work
  • The ability to express ideas clearly in written and spoken form
  • The ability to use IT resources for research and communication

Syllabus

Sessions may include:

Week 1: Introduction – A Canon of Exhibitions?

Week 2: Exhibitions and Politics

Week 3: Exhibition as Environment

Week 4: Participation

Week 5: Institutional Critique

Week 6: Field Trip

Week 7: Interim Project Presentations

Easter Break

Week 8: The Biennale

Week 9: Exhibitions and the Market

Week 10: Field Trip

Week 11: Final Project Presentations

Week 12: Revision

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching: 3hr classes will include overview lecture from tutor on key themes and movements, examination of specific case studies, and discussion of core weekly reading material.

The course will also include field trips to local galleries including the Whitworth and the Manchester Art Gallery.

Learning: Students will complete guided reading and suggestions for further reading. They will be required to plan, research and present an individual piece of research, and to produce and present a collaborative project.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of key events and approaches
  • Identify and describe a range of strategies and their critical and historical context
  • Critically appraise an exhibition using a range of methodological tools

Intellectual skills

  • To develop visual and textual analysis
  • To apply critical and theoretical concepts to the understanding and analysis of historical exhibitions
  • To relate key developments in exhibition history to broader patterns of historical and cultural change  

Practical skills

  • To undertake independent research using a range of resources: galleries, journals, books, the internet
  • To collaborate effectively to produce a group project
  • To use appropriate technology to support the completion of the group project
  • To communicate information and ideas effectively in the presentation of the group project

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • The ability to undertake and manage a process of group research and team working.
  • The ability to meet deadlines and take responsibility for one’s own work.
  • The ability to express ideas clearly in written and spoken form.
  • The ability to use IT resources for research and communication.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 40%
Written assignment (inc essay) 35%
Project output (not diss/n) 25%

Feedback methods

  • Written and oral feedback on presentation
  • Written feedback on essay
  • Additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment)

Recommended reading

Altshuler,¿Bruce,¿The¿Avant¿Garde¿in¿Exhibition:¿New¿Art¿in¿the¿20th Century,¿New¿York:¿Abrams,¿1994.

Altshuler,¿Bruce,¿Salon¿to¿Biennial:¿Exhibitions¿that¿Made¿Art¿History,¿Vol.¿1,¿1863¿1959,¿London:¿Phaidon,¿2008.

Barker,¿Emma¿(ed.),¿Contemporary¿Cultures¿of¿Display,¿New¿Haven:¿Yale¿University¿Press¿in¿association¿with¿The¿Open¿University,¿1999.

Greenberg,¿Reesa,¿Ferguson,¿Bruce¿W.¿and¿Nairne,¿Sandy¿(eds),¿Thinking¿About¿Exhibitions,¿London:¿Routledge,¿1996.

Haskell,¿Francis,¿The¿Ephemeral¿Museum:¿Old¿Master¿Paintings¿and¿the¿Rise¿of¿the¿Art¿Exhibition,¿New¿Haven¿and¿London:¿Yale¿University¿Press,¿2000.

Kachur,¿Lewis,¿Displaying¿the¿Marvelous:¿Marcel¿Duchamp,¿Salvador¿Dalí,¿and¿Surrealist¿Exhibition¿Installations,¿Cambridge,¿Massachussetts¿and¿London:¿The¿MIT¿Press,¿2001.¿

Luke,¿Timothy¿W.,¿Shows¿of¿Force:¿Power,¿Politics,¿and¿Ideology¿in¿Art¿Exhibitions,¿Durham,¿NC¿and¿London:¿Duke¿University¿Press,¿1992.

Macdonald,¿Sharon¿and¿Basu,¿Paul¿(eds),¿Exhibition¿Experiments,¿Malden¿and¿Oxford:¿Blackwell,¿2007.

McClellan,¿Andrew,¿The¿Art¿Museum¿from¿Boullée¿to¿Bilbao,¿Berkeley¿and¿London:¿University¿of¿California¿Press,¿2008.

Tate¿Papers,¿issue¿12:¿Landmark¿Exhibitions,¿Autumn¿2009,¿

http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate¿papers/issue¿12.

Serota,¿Nicholas,¿Experience¿or¿Interpretation:¿The¿Dilemma¿of¿Museums¿of¿Modern¿Art,¿London:¿Thames¿and¿Hudson,¿1996.

Staniszewski,¿Mary¿Anne,¿The¿Power¿of¿Display:¿A¿History¿of¿Exhibition¿Installations¿at¿the¿Museum¿of¿Modern¿Art,¿Cambridge,¿Mass.¿and¿London:¿The¿MIT¿Press,¿1998.¿

Vergo,¿Peter¿(ed.),¿The¿New¿Museology,¿London:¿Reaktion¿Books,¿1989.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
External visits 12
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 153

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Clare O'Dowd Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Semester 2

Seminar Friday 1pm to 4pm

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