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  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Sarah Thomas
  • Assessment: exhibition project (100%)

Module description

The role of the museum or gallery curator has long expanded beyond its traditional focus on the care of objects (the root of the word, ‘curare’, meaning to ‘take care of’). Today the curator is tasked with a variety of key roles, including the acquisition, interpretation and display of objects. Curators use objects to tell stories; they create exhibitions and communicate with (and shape) audiences.

This short intensive course will be delivered over a five-day period. Classroom learning will take place each morning, followed in the afternoon by visits to a range of museums and galleries across London. It is designed as an introduction to the profession, for students considering pursuing curatorial careers. The course will introduce students to the core aspects of curatorial practice, and encourage critical reflection and practical engagement. It will also consider some of the key challenges facing the profession within the museum sector today.

Indicative module syllabus

  • What is a Curator Today? Collecting and Interpreting Objects
  • Creating Narratives
  • Exhibition Making 1: Creating, Researching and Pitching a Proposal; Project Timelines
  • Exhibition Making 2: Spaces and Design
  • Audience Development and Communication

Learning objectives

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • understand the role and responsibilities of the curator within the modern museum and gallery context
  • select objects and create coherent narratives with them
  • understand the fundamental principles of object interpretation
  • engage constructively in current debates concerning curatorship and its changing nature
  • identify some of the challenges faced by the museum and gallery curator today.