ARTH 5523 - Curatorial and Museum Studies B

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course looks at the range of issues involved in the operations of an art museum in a range of areas including collection management, cataloguing, acquisition of works, exhibition proposals and development, installation and public programs. Students will examine these issues within the context of galleries and museums including a 20 day internship in a gallery or museum.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ARTH 5523
    Course Curatorial and Museum Studies B
    Coordinating Unit History
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Restrictions Available to MA(Cur&MuseumSt) students only
    Course Description This course looks at the range of issues involved in the operations of an art museum in a range of areas including collection management, cataloguing, acquisition of works, exhibition proposals and development, installation and public programs. Students will examine these issues within the context of galleries and museums including a 20 day internship in a gallery or museum.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Lisa Mansfield

    contact details:

    Professor Catherine Speck
    Napier 313
    ph. 08 8 313 5746

    Art Gallery of South Australia:
    Nick Mitzevich, Director
    Lisa Slade, Project Curator
    Julie Robinson, Senior Associate Curator, Prints, Drawings & Photographs
    Jane Messenger, Curator of European Art
    Maria Zagala, Associate Curator, Prints, Drawings & Photographs
    Tracey Lock-Weir, Curator of Australian Paintings and Sculpture
    David O’Connor, Manager, Public Exhibitions and Programs
    Jan Robison, Registrar
    Antonietta Itropico, Manager Publications and Sales
    Marika Lucas, Senior Publicist
    Susie Barr, Marketing Manager
    Emma Fey, Sponsorship
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Art Gallery of South Australia
    Lectures and tutorials at the University, Stretton Room, Napier level 4  

    Tuesdays: 2-5.00pm Semester 2:

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:
    1 A knowledge of art history and museums and collections .
    2 A specialised understanding in the four courses in art history and in the MA coursework topic in exhibition development 
    3 Specialised research skills focussing on analysis and synthesis of museological information, and skills in the use of catalogue data bases such as KE-EMU.
    4 Specialised minor thesis writing skills as required to write a research project centred around the concept and development of an exhibition including a catalogue essay. 
    5 An appreciation of the contribution to knowledge through engagement with the traditions and innovations in Art Historical scholarship, museology and curatorial practice.
    6 The ability to work in the gallery/museum sector in a range of curatorial and collection management roles.
    7 The skills and discipline to research, synthesise, organise and present information using a range of technologies as appropriate, and relating to the display of objects in the gallery/museum sector.
    8 Problem solving skills including visual problem solving skills as applied to exhibition design. 
    9 Analytical and critical skills.
    10 The ability to argue from evidence.
    11 The ability to think creatively in relation to exhibition development.
    12 The ability to communicate written and verbal ideas succinctly and effectively for the museum environment.
    13 The ability to set appropriate goals and to work independently.
    14 An understanding of the importance of lifelong learning.
    15 An understanding of ethical issues in their professional and intellectual context of the gallery/museum sector.
    16 An awareness of potential leadership roles in the wider gallery and museum community.
    17 An awareness of social justice issues.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 6, 8, 12, 13
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 7, 9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 14, 15, 16, 17
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 15, 16
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course Handbook 
    Course Reader

    Required texts 
    Newhouse, V. Art and the Power of Placement, Monacelli Press, New York, 2005
    Museum Methods, Museums Australia, 2002
    Rouette, G. Exhibitions: A Practical Guide for Small Museums and Galleries, Museums Australia, 2007
    Vergo, P. (ed) The New Museology, London, Reaktion Books, 1989.

    (available at the Art Gallery of South Australia bookshop) ·

    Lecture and tutorial images (on PowerPoint) ·

    Barr Smith Library Resource Guide:

    Recommended Resources
    Highly recommended texts:

    Barker, E. (ed) Contemporary Cultures of Display, Yale University Press and Open University, New Haven, London, 1999.

    Klonk, C. Spaces of Experience: Art Gallery Interiors from 1800-2000, Yale University Press, 2009.

    Wallace-Crabbe, M. Guidelines for internships, Art Museums Association of Australia, Fitzroy, Vic., c1993. 

    (Available from the Art Gallery of South Australian Bookshop, or from Museums Australia.)
    Online Learning


    Relevant material is placed on MyUni relating to:

    - the hypothetical exhibition including the exhibition venue, dimensions etc,

    - the internship inlcuding guidelines, insurance and the final report
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Teaching & Learning Modes:

    Art Gallaery workshops and University lectures provide focused discussion of key topics relevant to curating an exhibition, which are complemented by tutorial case studies centred on oral presentations, and small group discussion.

    It is essential that students complete the weekly tasks, and tutorial readings in order to share ideas, interpret subject matter, develop essential analysis skills and work together cooperatively.

    All material covered in Art Gallery sessions and university lectures and tutorials is focused around the  final piece of assessment.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The course is composed of 12 weeks of university /gallery lectures  and workshops and tutorials, each  of 3 hours.

    Students are required to complete the weekly tutorial readings and tasks in advance of the tutorials and complete additional reading for their assessment tasks.

    Please note that 6-unit courses in HUMSS are designed on the assumption that all learning and assessment activities (including lectures, tutorials, workshops, preparatory work, research and writing of assignments etc.) will require approximately 312 hours.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1: Gallery Introduction 2.00-3.30pm; University Introduction 3.00-5pm

    Week 2: Gallery / University: Planning an exhibition – conceptual matters

    Week 3: Gallery: Exhibition Development 2.00 -5.00pm

    Week 4: Gallery / University: Planning an exhibition – practical matters: Registration, sponsorship, Exhibition budgets & grant applications

    Week 5: Historical background to temporary exhibitions

    Week 6: Exhibition Development: History Museums

    Week 7: Gallery / University: Exhibition design

    Week 8: Gallery: Marketing & public relations; Exhibition interpretation – the perspective from Public Programs

    Week 9: Gallery/University: Museum of Economic Botany

    Week 10: Gallery: Extended text and Wall panels, publications

    Week 11: Gallery /University Panel: Presentation of Hypothetical exhibitions

    Week 12: University: Review of feedback
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    All work in this course is done in small group work in lectures workshops and in tutorials, involving problem solving methods.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Research Project Word length: 9,000 words
    Value: 90%
    Topic: To develop and curate a hypothetical exhibition 
    Tutorial tasks Value: 10% 
    Satisfactory completion of a 20 day internship.

    Assessment Detail
    Research Project (9,000 words) Task description: please see list of research topics relevant to this course, or you may negotiate a topic. Weighting: 90% Deadline: Friday 16 November, 2012. Submission: Submit a hard copy with a completed and date-stamped essay cover sheet and signed plagiarism declaration in the History essay return box on level 4 of the Napier Building. Tutorial tasks Task description: Topics are listed under the weekly university tutorials in the Course Guide. Weighting: 10% Internship Satisfactory completion of a 20 day internship.
    The hypothetical  exhibition is due in week 13. It is presented in hard copy.

    Extensions Students wishing to apply for extensions of more than 2 days for assessment components worth more than 20% for reasons of health or compassion must submit the relevant form to the School of History & Politics office on level 4 of the Napier Building: 
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    The School of History and Politics is committed to upholding the  University's Policy on Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S). All  staff and students have a legal responsibility to act in the interests  of themselves and others with respect to OH&S. For information on the School's contingency plan and emergency procedures, please see the OH&S section on the school website:

  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.