- Department: History of Art
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Richard Johns
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: I
- Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
- See module specification for other years: 2023-24
This module examines how art operates in a range of institutions, both within and beyond the heritage sector.
|Semester 1 2024-25
This module focuses on how art circulates within and beyond the world of heritage and culture. By actively engaging with institutions that shape, regulate, and often constrain our everyday behaviour, we will analyse how art is understood, employed, and valued in multiple societal contexts. We will learn first-hand from key actors and practitioners whose public roles entail dealing with art in one way or another. Contributors to this course may include, but are not limited to, people working in religious institutions, police detectives, British Army Commanders, NHS staff, lawyers, or diplomats. Through lectures and Problem Based Learning (PBL) activities, students will gain insights into the skills required to tackle the real-life problems that our contributors encounter in their jobs.
Our module will be divided into four main thematic blocks, each on an issue of public interest, such as health, diplomacy, or law enforcement. Each theme will be explored through two lenses: how art circulates within, and outside, the art world. To this end, seminars will first examine artworks that address the central themes. Students will interrogate how works from different periods deal with public interest issues, and how they are presented to the public today. This will give insights into how artworks operate inside arts and heritage institutions, such as museums, galleries, or the art market. The seminars will be followed by PBL case studies, where students investigate practical problems concerning artworks in institutions beyond the traditional art world, such as churches, hospitals, or law enforcement.
Through this approach, this module shows how art historians and curators have much to contribute to institutions in and beyond the heritage sector.
By the end of the module, students should have acquired:
A practical understanding of the range of art historical practices which take place in and beyond the arts and heritage sectors
A greater awareness of the variety of career pathways art historians and curators can follow
Insights into how artworks operate within a variety of contexts
Practical skills to tackle art-related issues happening within and outside cultural institutions
The ability to work individually and as part of a team
|% of module mark
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