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ARTH 501
Museums: History and Practice Spring 2021
Division I
Cross-listed ARTH 303 / LEAD 301 / ARTH 501

Class Details

Art museums not only express the political, economic and cultural values of their period of formation, but the evolution of those values that have resulted in today’s arts institutions. Looking at museums past and present internationally, the seminar will envision the future of museums as we recognize the programmatic trends developing in our own moment of civic and social unrest. The class will consider this future while examining existing governance and management policies and practices, the role of architecture and installation in interpretation and experience, guidelines in the accessioning and deaccessioning works of art, and issues in repatriation and restitution of cultural property. Surveying museums ranging in size and type from the “encyclopedic” to newly established contemporary arts institutions and alternative spaces, we will investigate current trends in acquisition, exhibition, educational programming in light of the equity and social justice demands of our time. With our goal of imagining art museums in the future, class discussions will have a special focus on how museums might strive to balance their traditional scholarly and artistic responsibilities with their heightened civic and social roles, doing so while maintaining financial stability in the increasingly market-driven, metric-conscious, not-for-profit environment of our time.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 5004
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: oral presentations and discussion in class and one seminar paper (with class presentation) at the end of the semester
Prerequisites: undergraduates should email [email protected] to schedule a discussion before registering for the course
Enrollment Preferences: graduate students, then senior art history majors, then other undergraduates
Unit Notes: satisfies the seminar requirement for the undergraduate Art History major
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH 303 Division I LEAD 301 Division II ARTH 501 Division I
Attributes: AMST Space and Place Electives
LEAD Facets or Domains of Leadership

Class Grid

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