This intensive remote-learning course is designed to illuminate the history and theory of curating as well as the processes, procedures, and practical skills utilized by curators and other professionals in the art world. Through a tailor-made series of interactive lectures, seminars, workshops, and in-depth explorations of museums and galleries, students develop an intimate understanding of historical curatorial practice and of the most recent developments in curating art today.
The course investigates a variety of approaches to curating, from the largest questions about art museums’ and galleries’ social and cultural roles, to issues concerning the presentation of art objects within them. Students explore histories and current debates around museum collecting, care and interpretation of artwork. Students also examine the role of the curator inside the museum and outside of it, in contexts such as in biennales, art fairs and commercial spaces. Through an exploration of case studies and conversations with high-level practitioners, students will examine key components and considerations of curating art and working in a museum more broadly, such as acquisitions and collecting, research, display methods, exhibition planning, conservation, and interpretation. The course also provides students with a window into the dynamic and often unseen professional networks and communities in the art world today. Students will go on a series of behind-the-scenes virtual site visits to art museums and galleries, learning directly from guest speakers working in museums and galleries as curators, exhibition designers, conservators and collections registrars, as well as those involved in interpretation, education, audience research, development, and marketing.
The course prepares students for a wide range of careers in the art world or for further study on one of our postgraduate programs. Students learn practical skills connected to curating art and evaluating exhibition spaces, as well as writing wall text, pitching a curatorial concept and developing an exhibition package. Students are introduced to the chronological development of art museums and galleries from the 16th century to the 20th century and to key developments in curating in the 20th and 21st centuries. Museum-level standards of object care and documentation, for both the public and commercial art world sectors, are also explored. For students without an art history background who are considering applying for a postgraduate program at Sotheby’s Institute, this course provides a strong foundation in the history of the art museum and of curatorial practice to prepare them for postgraduate study.
This Online Accredited Course, previously offered in London as part of the Semester program, consists of lectures, seminars, interactive workshops, discussions, and virtual site visits that are streamed live. Recordings of the live sessions are accessible anytime during the course via our online learning platform, Canvas.. Click here to download the Accredited Courses Booklet.