ARAH 80 Syllabus

Museums and Society


Carol Clark, 542-2096; ccclark@amherst.edu, Office Hours: MW 2-3
Samuel C. Morse, 542-2282; scmorse@amherst.edu, Office Hours: MW 11-12:30
and by appointment

Description


This course considers how art museums reveal the social and cultural ideologies of those who build, pay for, work in, and visit them. We will study the ways in which art history is (and has been) constructed by museum acquisitions, exhibitions, and installation. We will also consider the ways in which museums are constructed by art history by looking at the world-wide boom in museum architecture, and by examining curatorial practice and exhibition strategies as they affect American and Asian art in particular. We will analyze the relationship between the cultural contexts of viewer and object, the nature of the translation of languages or aesthetic discourse, and the diverse ways in which art is understood as the materialization of modes of experience and communication.

Books


The following books have been ordered from the Jeffery Amherst Bookshop on South Pleasant Street.

Duncan, Carol. Civilizing Rituals--Inside Public Art Museums. London and New York: Routledge, 1995.

McClellan, Andrew, ed. Art and Its Publics: Museum Studies at the Millennium. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.

Wallach, Alan. Exhibiting Contradiction: Essays on the Art Museum in The United States. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.

A packet of readings is available from the Art and Art History office. Any other readings can be found at the reserve desk in Frost Library.

The Course


The class will meet on Tuesdays from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. in Fayerweather 113. There will be two field trips - to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Art Museum, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, and to the Clark Art Institute, the Williams Museum of Art and MassMoca in North Adams and Williamstown.

The assignments and readings have been designed to help you come to your own understanding of the ways that art history shapes museum practice and museum practice shapes art history. Since such a wide range of material is to be covered in only one semester, regular class attendance is essential. The assigned readings should be completed before each class. You should be prepared to participate in class discussions and share you opinions with your fellow students through weekly posting on the class web-page. Be sure to post your comments by Monday at 9:00 pm.

Requirements


There will be three writing assignments and a formal in-class presentation at the end of the semester. You will also be asked to present material in class regularly and participate in class discussions (20%). All assignments must be typewritten. Two copies of each must be submitted to the Fine Arts Department office.

1) A critical analysis of a theoretical writing on museums, due September 28. (15%)

2) A critique of a gallery installation, due October 26. (15%)

3) A final paper (40%) and in-class presentation (10%). An outline of the fifteen minute presentation is due on November 9. Presentations are scheduled for December 4 and December 11. If additional time is needed they will be held on either December 13 or December 14. A fifteen to eighteen page paper based on the in-class presentation is due on December 18 at 12:00 noon.

Schedule


September 4 - Introduction

Readings:
Cuno, “Against the Discursive Museum”
Duncan, Civilizing Rituals, pp. 7 - 20
Kimmelman, “Art, Money and Power”
Malraux, Museum Without Walls
Smith, “Memo to Art Museums”
Winter, “Change in the American Art Museum”

September 11 - The Comprehensive Museum


Readings:
Ames, Cannibal Tours, pp. 15-24
Bennett, The Birth of the Museum
Conforti, “The Idealist Enterprise”
Duncan, Civilizing Rituals, pp. 21-71
Hudson, Museums of Influence
McClellan, Inventing the Louvre
Pearce, Museums, Objects and Collections, pp. 89-117


September 18 - Methodologies - Museums and Display

Student Presentations - Repatriation

Readings:
Alpers, “The Museum as a Way of Seeing”
Baxandall, “Exhibiting Intention”
Coombes, “Museums and the Formation of National and Cultural Identity
Cuno, “View from the Universal Museum”
Fisher, Making and Effacing Art
St. Clair, “Imperial Appropriations of the Parthenon”


September 25 - Methodologies - Collecting

Student Presentations - Deacessioning

Readings:
Alsop, The Rare Art Traditions
Baudrillard, “The System of Collecting”
Clifford, The Predicament of Culture
Marks, “The Ethics of Art Dealing”
Pearce, Museums, Objects, and Collections, pp. 1-14; 228-255
Stewart, On Longing
Storr, “To Have and to Hold”

October 2 - The American Art Museum

Readings:
Dubin, Displays of Power
Truettner, “A Case for Active Viewing”
Truettner, "For Museum Audiences”
Wallach, Exhibiting Contradiction


October 16 - The Private Museum

Guest lecture: Dr. Elizabeth Barker, Director, Mead Art Museum

Readings:
Armstrong, “A Moveable Feast”
Coolidge, Patrons and Architects
Duncan, Civilizing Rituals, pp. 72-101
Higonnet, “Museum Sight”
Higonnet, “Private Museums, Public Leadership”
Toobin, “Battle for the Barnes”
Chong, Eye of the Beholder . . . Gardner Museum, consult


October 23 - Museum Architecture

In-class presentation on museum architecture

Readings:
Andō, Abstractions in Space
Bonetti, “The Pulitzer Foundation”
Goldberger, “A Delicate Balance”
Schjeldahl, “Art House”

October 30 - The Asian Art Museum

Discussion of Final Project

Readings:
Barringer, “The South Kensington Museum and the Colonial Project”
Clunas, “Oriental Antiquities/Far Eastern Art”
Cohen, East Asian Art and American Culture
Davis, Lives of Indian Images
Earle, “The Taxonomic Obsession”
Gaskell, “Sacred to Profane”
Luke, “Museum Politics”
Shioda, “Morimura Yasumasa”

November 6 - The Craft Museum and the Ethnographic Museum

Readings:
Ames, Cannibal Tours, pp. 49-69
Clark, “From Theory to Practice”
Danto, “Artifact and Art”
Geertz, “Art as a Cultural System”
Goldwater, “Art History and Anthropology”
McEvilley, “Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief”
Prown, “Mind in Matter”
Rubin, et al. “On Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief”

November 13 - The Modern and Contemporary Museum

Readings:
Barker, “The Museum in a Postmodern Era”
Duncan, Civilizing Rituals, pp. 102-132
Grunenberg, “The Modern Art Museum”
Lowry, “A Deontological Approach”
Mainardi, “Repetition and Novelty”
Prior, “Having One’s Tate and Eating It”

November 27 - The Museum and Its Audience

Readings:
Barker, “Exhibiting the Canon: The Blockbuster Show”
Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Bourdieu, The Love of Art
McClellan, Brief History of the Art Museum Public
Merriman, “Museum Visiting as a Cultural Phenomenon”
Tinterow, “The Blockbuster, Art History and the Public”

December 4 - Presentations

December 11 - Presentations

Bibliography


Alpers, Svetlana. “The Museum as a Way of Seeing.” Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine, ed. Exhibiting Cultures. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1991. pp. 25-41. PACKET

Alsop, Joseph. The Rare Art Traditions: The History of art Collecting and Its Linked Phenomena Wherever These Have Appeared. New York: Harper and Row, 1982. pp. 68-85 PACKET

Ames, Michael M. Cannibal Tours and Glass Boxes: The Anthropology of Museums. 1972. pp. 15-24; 49-69 PACKET

Andō Tadao. Abstractions in Space--Tadao Andō , Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra. St. Louis: The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 2001. RESERVE

Armstrong, Carol. “A Moveable Feast.” Art Forum, vol. 43, no. 8 (April, 2005), pp. 53-54. PACKET

Barker, Emma. “Exhibiting the Canon: The Blockbuster Show.” In Barker, ed., Contemporary Cultures of Display (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 127-146. PACKET

Barker, Emma. “The Museum in a Postmodern Era: the Musée d’Orsay,” in Barker, ed., Contemporary Cultures of Display (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 51-72. PACKET

Barringer, Tim. “The South Kensington Museum and the Colonial Project.” In Tim Barringer and Tom Flynn, eds. Colonialism and the Object - Empire, Material Culture and the Museum. London: Routledge, 1998, pp. 11-27. PACKET

Baudrillard, Jean, “The System of Collecting.” In John Elsner and Roger Cardinal, eds. The Cultures of Collecting. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994. pp. 7-24. PACKET

Baxandall, Michael. “Exhibiting Intention: Some Preconditions of the Visual Display of Culturally Purposeful Objects.” in Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine, ed. Exhibiting Cultures. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1991, pp. 33-41. PACKET

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” in Illuminations. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1968. Also: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm. PACKET

Bennett, Tony. The Birth of the Museum - History, Theory, Politics. London: Routledge, 1995. pp. 17-58; 59-88. PACKET

Bonetti, David. “Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts; An Extraordinary Place for Intimate Viewing.” St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 25, 2003. PACKET

Bourdieu, Pierre and Alain Darbel. The Love of Art: European Art Museums and Their Public. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991. pp. 37-39; 47-49; 53-55; 69-70. PACKET

Chong, Alan et al, eds. Eye of the Beholder--Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2003. RESERVE

Clark, Christa. “From Theory to Practice: Exhibiting African Art in the Twenty-first Century.” in McClellan, ed., Art and Its Publics, pp. 165-184.

Clifford, James. The Predicament of Culture. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988. pp. 215-251. PACKET

Clunas, Craig. “Oriental Antiquities/Far Eastern Art.” Positions 2:2 (1994), pp. 318-355. PACKET

Cohen, Warren. East Asian Art and American Culture. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. pp. 35-73. PACKET

Conforti, Michael C., “The Idealist Enterprise.” in Malcolm Baker and Brenda Richardson, eds. A Grand Design--The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum. New York: Abrams, 1997. pp. 22-47. PACKET

Coolidge, John. Patrons and Architects - Designing American Museums in the Twentieth Century. Fort Worth: The Amon Carter Museum, 1989, pp. 2-26. PACKET

Coombes, Annie E. “Museums and the Formation of National and Cultural Identity.” Oxford Art Journal, vol. 11, no. 2 (1988), pp. 57-68. PACKET

Cuno, James. “Against the Discursive Museum.” in Peter Noever, ed. The Discursive Museum. Vienna: MAK, 2001, pp. 44-57. E-RESERVE

-----. “View from the Universal Museum.” John Merryman, ed., Imperialism, Art and Restitution. London: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 15-33. PACKET

Danto, Arthur. “Artifact and Art.” ART/Artifact: African Art in Anthropology Collections. New York: Center for African Art, 1988. pp. 18-32. PACKET

Davis, Richard. Lives of Indian Images. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997. pp. 15-50. PACKET

Dubin, Steven C. Displays of Power: Memory and Amnesia in the American Museum. New York: New York University Press, 1999. pp. 152-185. PACKET

Duncan, Carol. Civilizing Rituals--Inside Public Art Museums. London and New York: Routledge, 1995. REQUIRED BOOK

Earle, Joe. “The Taxonomic Obsession: British Collectors and Japanese Objects 1852-1986.” Burlington Magazine, no. 128 (Dec., 1986), pp. 863-873. PACKET

Fisher, Philip. Making and Effacing Art: Modern American Art in a Culture of Museums. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. pp. 3-47. PACKET

Gaskell, Ivan. “Sacred to Profane and Back Again.” In McClellan, ed. Art and Its Publics, pp. 149-164.

Geertz, Clifford. “Art as a Cultural System.” Local Knowledge. New York: Basic Books, 1983, pp. 94-120. PACKET

Goldberger, Paul. “A Delicate Balance.” The New Yorker (Dec. 23, 2002), pp. 159-161. PACKET

Goldwater, Robert. “Art History and Anthropology: Some Comparisons of Methodology.” in Anthony Forge, ed., Primitive Art and Society. London: Oxford, University Press, 1973. pp. 1-10. PACKET

Grunenberg, Christoph. “The Modern Art Museum.” in Emma Barker, ed. Contemporary Cultures of Display. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999, pp. 26-49. PACKET

Higonnet, Anne. “Museum Sight.” in McClellan, ed. Art and Its Publics, pp. 132-147.

-----. “Private Museums, Public Leadership: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Art of Cultural Authority.” Cultural Leadership in America: Art Matronage and Patronage, Fenway Court, vol. 27 (1997), pp. 79-92. PACKET

Hudson, Kenneth. Museums of Influence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. pp. 39-64. PACKET

Kimmelman, Michael. “Art, Money and Power.” New York Times, May 11, 2005. E-RESERVE

Lowry, Glenn. “A Deontological Approach to the Art Museum and the Public Trust.” in James Cuno, Whose Muse - Art Museums and the Public Trust. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. pp. 129-150. PACKET

Luke, Timothy W. Museum Politics - Power Plays at the Exhibition. Minneapolis: the University of Minnesota Press, 2002. pp. 65-81. PACKET

McClellan, Andrew. “A Brief History of the Art Museum Public,” in McClellan, ed. Art and Its Publics, pp. 1-50

McClellan, Andrew, ed. Art and Its Publics: Museum Studies at the Millennium. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003. REQUIRED BOOK

McClellan, Andrew. Inventing the Louvre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. pp. 1-12. PACKET

McEvilley, Thomas. “Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief.” In Bill Beckley, ed. Uncontrollable Beauty: Towards a New Aesthetics. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1998, pp. 147-167. PACKET

Mainardi, Patricia. “Repetition and Novelty: Exhibitions Tell Tales.” in Charles W. Haxthausen, ed. The Two Art Histories. Williamstown: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2002. pp. 81-86. PACKET

Malraux, André. Museum without Walls. Part I of Voices of Silence. Garden City: Doubleday, 1953. pp. 13-16; 21-31; 44-46. E-RESERVE

Marks, Peter. “The Ethics of Art Dealing.” Journal of Cultural Property, vol. 7, no. 1 (1998), pp. 116-127. PACKET

Merriman, Nick. “Museum Visiting as a Cultural Phenomenon.” In Peter Vergo, ed. The New Museology. London: Reaktion Books, 1989. pp. 149-171. PACKET

Pearce, Susan M. Museums, Objects, and Collections. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1993. pp. 1-14; 89-117; 228-255. PACKET

Prior, Nick. “Having One’s Tate and Eating It: Transformations of the Museum in a Hypermodern Era.” In McClellan, ed., Art and its Publics, pp. 51-76,

Prown, Jules. “Mind in Matter: an Introduction to Material Culture Theory and Method.” Winterhur Portfolio, vol. 17, no. 1 (Spring 1982), pp. 1-19. PACKET

Rubin, William; Varnedoe, Kirk; McEvilley, William. “On ‘Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief.’” in Bill Beckley, ed. Uncontrollable Beauty: Towards a New Aesthetics. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1998, pp. 167-200. PACKET

Schjeldahl, Peter. “Art House.” The New Yorker (Jan. 13, 2003), pp. 87-89. PACKET

Shioda, Jun chi. “Morimura Yasumasa: Between Art History and the Art Museum.” in Yoko Hayashi, ed., Morimura Yasumasa: Self Portrait as Art History, vol. 1. Tokyo: Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, 1988, pp. 54-58. HANDOUT

Smith, Roberta. “Memo to Art Museums: Don’t Give up on Art.” New York Times, December 3, 2000. E-RESERVE

St. Clair, William. “Imperial Appropriations of the Parthenon.” John Merryman, ed., Imperialism, Art and Restitution. London: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 65-97. PACKET

Stewart, Susan. On Longing - Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham: Duke University Press, 1996. pp. 151-169. PACKET

Storr, Robert. “To Have and to Hold.” In Bruce Altschuler, ed. Collecting the New: Museums and Contemporary Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), pp. 29-40. PACKET

Tinterow, Gary. “The Blockbuster, Art History, and the Public: The Case of Origins of Impressionism.” In Charles W. Haxthausen, ed. The Two Art Histories. Williamstown: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2002, pp. 142-153. PACKET

Toobin, Jeffery. “Battle for the Barnes.” The New Yorker, Jan. 21, 2002, pp. 34-39. PACKET

Truettner, William. “A Case for Active Viewing.” In Charles W. Haxthausen, ed. The Two Art Histories. Williamstown: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2002, pp. 102-112. PACKET

-----. "For Museum Audiences: The Morning of a New Day," In Amy Henderson and Adrienne L. Kaeppler, eds. Exhibiting Dilemmas - Issues of Representation at the Smithsonian. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997, pp. 28-46. PACKET

Wallach, Alan. Exhibiting Contradiction - Essays on the Art Museum in the United States. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1998. REQUIRED BOOK

Winter, Irene. "Change in the American Art Museum: The (An) Art Historian's Voice." Marcia Tucker, ed. Different Voices: A Social, Cultural and Historical Framework for Change in the American Art Museum. New York: Association of Art Museum Directors, 1992, pp, 30-57. E-RESERVE
 

Taking Notes