Collect, Curate, Display

The details
Art History and Theory
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
28 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

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)

Module description

This module offers an introduction to the history of the museum. It combines a historical and theoretical investigation of the subject with a range of practical assignments to give students a multifaceted understanding of the subject.

We will consider the basic human instinct to collect and explore different ways of making some sense of the world through ordering its material manifestations. We will analyse the spaces in which collections were displayed, and ask questions about privilege, power and the intended publics in the run up to the invention of the civic museum. We will discuss the ways art history, history and ethnography are presented and constructed in the museum.

We will also consider the museum as a tool of urban regeneration and a motor of the tourist industry. While global cultural tourism is a widespread and lucrative phenomenon the museum's final frontier is dematerialisation and the digital. We'll ask what's the museum's future?

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

to equip students with a broad grasp of the history of curating, its contexts and modes of work;
to provoke critical reflection on the changing role of curatorial labour and its evolving practices.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module the student should have:

a firm grasp of the history of the museum and its political contexts;
the ability to interpret museum taxonomies based on visual and textual evidence;
an understanding of historical museum practices and its various publics;
knowledge of the appropriate art historical and historical contexts;
the confidence to subject the texts studied to critical analysis;
good bibliographical and basic research skills.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

9 x 2 Hour Seminars 1 x Reading Week 1 x Gallery Visit


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1 (2500 Words)    40% 
Practical   Class Presentation of a Set Weekly Reading TOTAL    10% 
Written Exam  Slide Test    10% 
Written Exam  Essay 2 (2500 Words)    40% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Gavin Grindon, email:
Dr Gavin Grindon



External examiner

Prof Richard Simon Clay
Newcastle University
Professor of Digital Cultures
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 16 (88.9%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Art History and Theory

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