Oct 19, 2020  
2019-2020 University Bulletin 
2019-2020 University Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

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ARTH 355 - Museum Studies

3 hours
This course provides an in-depth investigation into the theory and practice of museums, especially the moral, ethical, and philosophical choices that inform their methodologies of collection and display. Museums are interpreters of objects and events, which means that they have an important community role and immense power to influence culture and society. In addition to case studies and course readings about all types of museums, students are provided the rare opportunity for behind-the-scenes visits to local museums for the purpose of debating the relevance, necessity, and effectiveness of different ways of providing access to objects. These field trips are intended to offer insights into considering how museums are organized and how that organization varies according to museum size or subject, how they educate, and how-why-what they collect. Topics in this seminar-style discussion address such issues as the conservation and preservation of objects, popularity of blockbuster exhibitions, racial divisions in museum attendance and lack of diversity in staffing, consideration of exhibition styles, determinations about the detail and content for labels that identify and explain objects, and the ethical dilemmas inherent in the appropriation of cultural treasures from one nation to another such as whether or not they should be returned to their places of origin. We look at how some museums have become monuments of national pride, how new technologies have changed museums (such as using iPads instead of wall labels to distribute information and having their collections available online), and how they are funded through grants, memberships, and admission fees. Course fee to cover museum admissions and tour costs.

Listed also as AMST 355  

This course will satisfy the core area requirement in fine arts.

This course will satisfy the core requirement in multicultural studies.

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