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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "AH 271"
COURSE NAME: "Curating Museums and Galleries"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Ilaria Gianni
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: W 3:30-6:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The course is designed to introduce students to the history of museums and to curating practices. Classes will discuss the cultural position of the museum, the evolution of its function, the different forms of display, the historical developments of the act of collecting, the position of the visitor and the role of the curator. The primary purpose of the course is to provide students with a critical vocabulary for understanding how museums produce knowledge and structure the ways in which history, geography, cultural difference, and social hierarchies are mapped. Through a series of richly detailed case studies related to ancient and contemporary Rome museums, collections and institutions, classes will investigate the differences between the roles, the missions, the objectives, and the policies of conservation and exhibition-making in spaces, relating to modalities of thought. The course also intends to introduce the figure of the curator and its development from conservator and classifier to creative, critical protagonist of contemporary art culture. The course concludes with an overview of current debates around the contemporary need for museums, and large scale exhibition (such as Biennials and Triennials) and their perceived social functions

SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
During the first part of the course we will learn about some of the basic concepts around the definition of Museum, and develop a basic vocabulary on Museum Studies. We will face the difference between a museum understood as an institution and a gallery understood as a commercial activity. After that we will focus on the role and on the function of the curator, and on the definition of curatorial cultural practices.

The second part of the course will actively introduce students to some of Rome’s Museums and Commercial Galleries, surveying the different methods of displaying contemporary cultures, analyzing the diverse curatorial decisions and discussing some of the practical issues Museums and Galleries face. We will also investigate the current debates on curating that have risen in the age of international biennials and blockbuster show, questioning the way in which exhibitions are conceived and subjects addressed.

Parallel to the theoretical aspects of curating and contemporary museum studies, students will also actively work on an exhibition project engaging with the Roman local art scene. During the first weeks of the course the class will choose the exhibition format they prefer developing (a show, a conference, a blog, a performance, a small festival, workshops...). The idea will be conceptually and materially structured during the semester and presented at the end of the course. Artists based in Rome will be invited to come lecture in class, introducing their works to the students.


Special lectures on Museums, Foundations and Collections based in Rome*:

Contemporary Art Museums:
- Galleria Nazionale 
- MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art Rome)
- MAXXI (Museum of the XXI century)

Temporary Contemporary Exhibition Centers:
- Palazzo delle Esposizioni
- Palazzo Merulana

Private Art Foundations:
- Nomas Foundation
- Giuliani Foundation
- Fondazione Volume!
- Fondazione Memmo
- Fondazione Pastificio Cerere

Private Galleries:
- 1/9 Gallery
- The Gallery Apart
- Monitor Gallery
- Lorcan O'Neill Gallery
- t293 Gallery
- Frutta Gallery
- Gavin Brown's Enterprise
- Gagosian
- ADA

* lectures selected among the above-mentioned institutions. When possible we will visit the spaces.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
At the end of the course students should have acquired a knowledge of the history of museums, of international large scale exhibitions, current issues and trends in the field, and will be familiar with curatorial practices.  They will have a basic knowledge of the vocabulary used by museum professionals and a basic bibliography of the recent literature.  They will utilize critical thinking and writing skills as they will be required to closely examine, analyze, discuss and write about specific exhibitions and museums

Students will learn how to experience contemporary art museums, how to recognize the differences within the roles and functions of museums. Students will also become familiar with the different functions of a contemporary Kunsthalle (temporary exhibition centers), a commercial gallery, an international large scale exhibition (biennials and triennials).

Through an introduction of the different players of the contemporary art system, classes also aim at acquainting students with the role of the curator, the museum director, the collector, the art critic. Students will furthermore learn about the history of curating. The course will unveil the theoretical and practical aspects of curating. In general the course will highlight the relationships between cultural theory and art practice.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Contemporary Cultures of Display Emma BarkerContemporary Cultures of Display Emma BarkerYale University Press0300077831  
Thinking Contemporary CuratingTerry SmithIndependent Curators International (ICI)0916365867  
Ten Fundamental Questions of CuratingJens HoffmannMousse Publishing8867490532  
he Curator's HandbookAdrian GeorgeThames & Hudson0500239282  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Culture of Curating and the Curating of Culture (s)Paul O'NeillThe MIT Press0262017725  
A Brief History of CuratingHans Ulrich ObristJRP|RingierJRP|Ringier 390582955X  
Harald Szeemann: Individual MethodologyFlorence Derieux (edited by),JRP|Ringier3905829096  
Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery SpaceBrian O'DohertyUniversity of California Press0500239282  

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Attendance and participation (participation in class discussions and gallery visits: questions asked, involvement in the visits)15%
Mid-term exams (1 review focusing on the museum vists)15%
Final show (Students will be ask to curate a show on thier own. The effort and participation in structuring the show will be graded.)30%
Interview with the artist( A complete conversation addressing the practice of one of the artists involved in the final show)20%
Final exam in class (3 questions on curating and museum studies)20%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cou
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Class attendance and participation in field trips are highly recommended. Please refer to the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy. Please refer to the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy. Please refer to the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy.

ACADEMIC HONESTY As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.

STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

Schedule * 

AH 271
Curating Museums and Galleries
Spring 2019
Prof. Ilaria Gianni

* Alterations and/or additions to the schedule may take place. Programs will be confirmed during the course.

Week 1

Introduction to Museum studies Part 1
- Studioli /Kunstkammer / Wunderkammer / Galleries
- The Birth of the Public Democratic Museum

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 2

Introduction to Museum Studies Part 2
- ICOM Code of Ethics
- Visiting Palazzo Corsini

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 3

Introduction to Museum Studies Part 3
The Changing Museum
On site: Visit to the Galleria Nazionale
Case Studies: The Museum of Modern Art / The Musée D'Orsay / The Natonal Gallery, London 

(tbc)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 4

Introduction to Exhibition History and Histories of Display
In class: Exhibitions of Contemporary Art: XX Century History (in class)


___________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 5

Exhibition Discussions
On site: Visit to a contemporary art show at MACRO with Director Luca Lo Pinto

(tbc)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 6

Introduction to the Art Market

- Art Auctions
- Commercial Galleries
- Collectors / Art Patrons
- Art Fairs

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 7

Galleries in Rome

On site visit to:
Frutta Gallery
T293
Sant'Andrea de Scaphis
ADA
Galleria Lorcan O'Neill, Rome


(tbc)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 8

Spring Break
________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 9

Exhibition Practicalities
Concept devlopment, display, communication plan, budget for an exhibition

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 10

Art Studios
-On Site - CASTRO

(tbc)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 11

Artists in Rome 
- Lecture and workshop by 2 artists discussed in class

(tbc)
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 12

Artists in Rome 
- Lecture and workshop by 2
 artists discussed in class

(tbc)
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 13

Introduction to Curatorial Studies
- The Birth of the Curator: Seth Sieglaub and Harlad Szeemann

Exhibition project tutorials - Workshop 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 14

Introduction to Curatorial Studies
Large scale exhibitions
- Venice Biennale
- Documenta
- Manifesta

Exhibition project tutorials - Workshop 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Week 15

Introduction to Curatorial Studies
- Curatorial Thinking shaping the Art World

Exhibition project tutorials - Workshop 

_______________________________________________________________________________________