ARTH 5523 - Curatorial and Museum Exhibition Project

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

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 Exhibition Project
    Coordinating Unit Art History
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    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: Professor Catherine Speck

    Course Timetable

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

  • 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

    No information currently available.

  • 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
    Additional course information and material is available on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Art Gallery 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.

    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 Arts 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
    Week 2 Planning an exhibition – conceptual matters
    Week 3 Exhibition development
    Week 4 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 Exhibition design
    Week 8 Marketing & public relations; Exhibition interpretation – the perspective from Public Programs
    Week 9 Museum of Economic Botany
    Week 10 Extended text and Wall panels, publications
    Week 11 Presentation of Hypothetical exhibitions
    Week 12 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
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Tutorial participation and tasks Formative and Summative 10% 1-17
    9000 word research project Formative and Summative 90% 1-17
    20 day internship Formative 0% 1-17
    Assessment Detail
    Tutorial participation and tasks: topics will be listed in the Course Guide available on enrolment. 10% weighting.

    9000 word research project: students will choose from a list of topics and will develop and curate a hypothetical exhibition. 90% weighting.
    The research project on a hypothetical exhibition must be submitted in hard copy.

    Extension: 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 form available at
    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

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