Spring 2014

Museums and Society

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-380

Formerly listed as: FIAR-80

Moodle site: Course


Carol C. Clark (Section 01)
Samuel C. Morse (Section 01)


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 and 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. 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. The seminar will incorporate visits to art museums and opportunities for independent research. Two meetings per week.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester.  Professors Clark and Morse.


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2014