Collect, Curate, Display: A Short History of the Museum
Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
27 September 2023
Requisites for this module
BA V351 Curating,
BA V352 Curating (Including Year Abroad),
BA V353 Curating (including Placement Year),
BA V359 Curating (Including Foundation Year),
BA V35B Curating (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA V305 Curating with Politics,
BA V306 Curating with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA V307 Curating with Politics (including Placement Year),
BA V308 Curating with Politics (including Year Abroad),
BA V309 Curating with History,
BA V310 Curating with History (Including Foundation Year),
BA V311 Curating with History (including Placement Year),
BA V312 Curating with History (including Year Abroad),
BA VV40 Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies,
BA VV41 Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV42 Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies (including Placement Year),
BA VV43 Art History, Heritage and Museum Studies (including Year Abroad),
BA V301 Curating, Heritage and Human Rights,
BA V302 Curating, Heritage and Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA V303 Curating, Heritage and Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA V304 Curating, Heritage and Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA V200 History and Heritage,
BA V201 History and Heritage (Including Foundation Year),
BA V202 History and Heritage (including Placement Year),
BA V203 History and Heritage (including Year Abroad)
This module offers an introduction to the history of museums and galleries. We will consider the basic human instinct to collect and the creation of the first museums. We will examine ideas about taxonomy, ordering the world and the first museum spaces of display, asking questions about privilege and power.
How have museums and galleries shaped history and science? What ethical issues are there today around these spaces? Should tobacco, oil and arms companies sponsor museums? Can museums be tools of 'urban regeneration'? Do online archives and 3D scanning make museums themselves obsolete institutions?
The aims of this module are:
- To introduce students to the complex history of the museum.
- To introduce students to the different types of documents and writing associated with museum practice, including object labels and mission statements.
- To enable students to think critically about different types of museums and their ideological, political and social motivations.
By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:
- Have foundational knowledge of the history and theory of museums and galleries.
- Have knowledge of key debates in the history of curating.
- Develop a familiarity with some basic curatorial practices.
- Be able to think critically and argue about these debates and practices.
- Develop their skills in visual memory.
No additional information available.
This module will be delivered via:
- One 2-hour combined lecture and seminar per week.
There will also be Reading Week when no teaching will take place, exact week to be confirmed.
Bennett, T. (1995) '1.1 The Formation of the Museum', in The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory
. Routledge. Available at: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781315002668
Cariou, W. (2016) 'The Exhibited Body: The Nineteenth-Century Human Zoo', Victorian Review
, 42(1), pp. 25–29. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1353/vcr.2016.0035
O'Doherty, B. and McEvilley, T. (2000) 'I: Notes on the Gallery Space', in Inside the White Cube. Berkerley: University of California Press.
Smith, L. (2006) '“The Discourse of Heritage.” in Uses of heritage', in Uses of Heritage. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Fraser, A. (2005a) 'From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique', Artforum, 44(1), pp. 278–283.
Evans, M. (2015) Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts
. London: PlutoPress. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt183p6f4
Grindon, G. (no date) 'This Exhibition Was Brought to You by Guns and Big Oil', The New York Times
[Preprint]. Available at: https://advance.lexis.com/api/permalink/82b4eaff-316a-4f95-9b36-af72a9cbd9f1/?context=1519360&federationidp=B2G4XJ59150
Stier, O.B. (2009) 'Mediating Memory: Holocaust Museums and the Display of Rememberance Massachusetts', in Committed to Memory: Cultural Mediations of the Holocaust,. University of Massachusetts Press.
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Slide test (closed book)
Exam format definitions
- Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
- In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary,
for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.
Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Gavin Grindon, email: email@example.com.
Dr Gavin Grindon
PHAIS General Office - 6.130; firstname.lastname@example.org.
No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 364 hours, 18 (4.9%) hours available to students:
346 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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