ARTH 390/4-A: Art and the Museum: The Museum as Frame
INSTRUCTOR: DR. ANNE WHITELAW
The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to current issues in the analysis of the museum. The "birth" of the museum is traditionally dated to the French Revolution when the King's palace was taken over by the newly enfranchised bourgeoisie and turned into a public institution: the Louvre. Since then, museums have played a central role in the circulation and consumption - if not the production - of art, and as a result have been the site of debates around art, the nation, race, gender and power. This course has two goals: 1) to give students an understanding of the development of the museum type from the late 18th century to the present; and 2) to introduce student to some of the most important literature on museums written since the 1980s. Through lectures, readings and research projects, the course will address such topics as the establishment of museum collections, corporate sponsorship, the critique of the museum by artists, the changing nature of display paradigms throughout the last century, and the role of the museum in the establishment of artistic value.