Course Description

AHI 401: Museum Training – Curatorial Principles (4)

Seminar—3 hours. Approved for graduate degree credit. Study of private and public collections. Museum personalities. Appraisal of works of art; ethics of appraisal. Auction and sales: methods and catalogues. Registration. Technical problems of the museum. Connoisseurship. Collateral reading. Visits to museums. Seminar with assigned papers.

This course introduces the practice of exhibition-making, specifically, exploring the power and politics of display and various critical and experimental approaches to curating an exhibition within and beyond the traditional white cube.  Most of our energy will focus on collaborating and curating an exhibition at the Shrem Museum or somewhere on the UC Davis campus. Organized as a seminar and lab, the objectives of the course is to apprehend that there is a history of exhibition display, develop a critical perspective on exhibition-making, and learn the basics of curating an exhibition.  The class is time and labor-intensive and includes writing up a curatorial proposal, presenting this proposal to a select group of professors & museum professionals, and curating an exhibition with your peers. Each week, we will work toward developing a critical curatorial practice that is not just about selecting and placing ‘objects’ on display, but rather, creating a provocative and flexible framework and platform which will provoke dialogue and raises questions. If there is interest, there will also be one or two field trips to San Francisco to see galleries and meet conservators, curators, and gallerists.

Many of the students who have taken the course are now working at museums, galleries, and auction houses, and/or pursuing advanced degrees in art history, museum studies, arts administration, and curatorial studies.

The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. 

Instructor: Susette Min


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