Weekly Topics and Reading Assignments

1st week  - introductions – discussing gallery space on campus –

9/6 Introduction

Read: Carol Duncan, “The MoMA’s Hot Mamas,” Art Journal, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 171-178.


2nd week – Continue Introduction.

9/10 What do Museums do, how do they do it.

Read: Henning, Introduction and Chapter 1.

9/13. Visit to the Smith College Art Gallery – Assignment on-site writing begin on this day - due the following week.

Read: Smith College Gallery website


3rd week – Section 1. Museum as Educator: National Identity

9/17 Discussion – the nation, national identity and the role of the museum

Read; A. E. Coombes "Museums and the Formation of National and Cultural Identities," and M. P. Leone and B. J. Little "Artifacts as Expressions of Society and Culture," in Museum Studies

9/20 In class – personal skills assessment, deciding which part of museum work you are interested in – curatorial, design, website, outreach (education)

Read: Susan Vogel, "Always True to the Object, in Our Fashion,"

First Writing due


4th week – Continue with Museums as educator – also begin to frame projects

9/24 Modes, methods and contexts of display

Read: Henning, Chapter 2

9/27 visit to BMAC


5th week – End Section 1

10/1.  Discussion – comparative analysis of the museums we have visited and issues raised by readings, what are the components of a successful educational museum experience?

Read: Henning, Chapter 3.  Media

10/4. Work in your teams on projects.

Second Writing due

10/5 – Visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Read: Castro, “An Analysis of Repatriation: A Study of the “November Collection” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,” pp. 59-77

6th week – Section 2. Preservation

10/8. Repatriation historical context and current circumstance

Read: Neil Curtis, "Universal Museums, Museum Objects and Repatriation," in Museum Studies and 'Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums' 2004

10/11. Work on project

7th week – The Museum and its Public

10/15 – The public’s role

Read: Henning, Chapter 4 Public and James Cuno, "The Object of Art Museums" in Whose Muse? Art Museums and the Public Trust, Princeton U Press, 2004

10/18 – no class

8th week – Work on Projects

10/22 – Hendricks Weekend - no class

10/25 – First draft of proposals due – in-class presentations led by Cathy Osman and Tim Segar

 9th week – Museums under fire/iconoclasm and the museum

10/29 – Case study the Egyptian Museum

Read: Zainab Bahrani, “Iraq's Cultural Heritage: Monuments, History, and Loss,” Art Journal, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Winter, 2003), pp. 10-17 and Nabil Shawkat, “The Egyptian Museum: protecting the past in revolutionary times,” The National and Farah Halime, “Revolution brings hard times for Egypt’s Treasures,” The New York Times, October 31, 2012

11/1 – Wrap up preservation sectionRead: Barry Flood, “Between Cult and Culture: Bamiyan, Islamic Iconoclasm, and the Museum,” The Art Bulletin, Vol. 84, No. 4 (Dec., 2002), pp. 641-659

11/2 visit to the MMA in New York City – visit to the Islamic wing and the Ancient Near Eastern wing – map both galleries, so that you can figure out some questions to ask Kim Benzel when she visits class on the 22nd of this month. Also prepare notes for your third writing assignment. If time allows find three works of art in each section that you can use as an example of an object that bridges (formally, iconographically or visually) at least two distinct cultures.


10th week – Section 3. Conservation

11/5. Discussion of culture, cultural difference, the meaning of culture

Read: Nasser Rabbat, “What’s in a name” and Walter Denny, “The Met Resets a Gem,”

11/8 – The Louvre vs the MMA – Representing Islam

Read: David J. Roxburgh, “on the Musée du Louvre’s galleries of Islamic Art,”

Third writing assignment due


11th week – Museums and Memory

11/12 What is the relationship between the museum and the archive?

Read: Henning, Chapter 5

11/15 continue discussion

Read: Susan A. Crane, "Memory, Distortion and History in the Museum,"


12th week

11/19 Work on Projects, open discussion

Read: TBD

11/22 – visiting lecture by Kim Benzel, senior curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Read: Prakash and Corrin in Museum Studies

11/23 – visit to Yale University Art Gallery


13th week – Museums and Academe

11/26 The University/college Museum

Read: “Campus Art Museums in the 21st Century

11/29 – Thanksgiving no class


14th week – Marlboro’s Art Collection – what is its role


The remainder of the classes will be updated shortly

Last modified: Saturday, November 23, 2013, 8:37 AM