ARTH 394: The Museum

ARTH 394-001: The Museum
(Spring 2024)

04:30 PM to 07:10 PM T

Hanover Hall L003

Section Information for Spring 2024

This course will focus on the emergence and development of museums in the western world; the role of museums in social, educational, and political life; and the history and theory of collecting. We often think of museums as neutral institutions with a purely educational purpose, but we will see that throughout the modern era they have been associated with political and social messages as well. What are the origins of the modern museum? Where do the pieces in museums come from and to whom do they belong? What kinds of narratives have museums created and reinforced in their visitors? What happens to an object when it is removed from its context and placed in a museum? We will address all these questions as we trace the development of museums from their medieval origins to the twenty-first century.

Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Examines history, theory, practice, ethics, and current problems of collecting and displaying art and artifacts to the public. Emphasizes issues central to museums in Washington, D.C., or museums in other locations; focus varies with instructor. Limited to three attempts.
Mason Core: Synthesis
Recommended Prerequisite: 6 credits in art history at the 300-level and completion or concurrent enrollment in ENGH 302.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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