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Curatorial Studies Program

Curatorial Studies Minor

All Curatorial Studies courses will engage the permanent collections at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, and the Archives at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, and be rooted in object based inquiry. One of the most dynamic components of the Curatorial Studies minor is that all curatorial studies courses will include outcome driven experiences in the Innovation Lab and ensure that students have a growing knowledge of interactive technologies.

Courses often incorporate studio visits, conversations with guest curators, and other off-site opportunities. At least one art experience at other Atlanta-based institutions, including (but not limited to) the Michael C. Carlos Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Hammonds House, the Museum of Art and Design and the Special Collections at Emory University, will be standard features of each course.  While approved special topics courses will be introduced and added to the curriculum over time.

Course Requirements - 18 credits

AVC235 Introduction to the Object (4 credits)
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This foundation course for the Curatorial Studies minor introduces a common vocabulary and conceptualization for discussing works of art. It provides a shared frame of reference for all students who are interested in the field of curatorial studies. Using exhibitions and works from the permanent collections in AUC institutions as case studies, this course also equips students to examine the role of institutions, curators, and other museum professionals.
AVC305 Seminar in Curatorial Studies (3 credits)
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This course introduces curatorial methodologies and strategies for developing a broad range of
exhibitions (monographic, thematic and permanent collection shows, media-based and interactive
projects, etc.). It examines how museums produce knowledge, considering the ways in which art history and visual culture studies have been informed by museum collection and display policies. This course is designed for students who are curious about curatorial projects and curating practices.
AVC335 Mining the Museum (3 credits)
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Mining the Museum positions museums as dynamic, changing, non-neutral spaces that should be respected as extraordinary cultural assets, that should be enjoyed and challenged, critiqued, and scrutinized. This course focuses on seminal exhibitions that inform current perception of and interactions with museums. Using exhibitions and works from the permanent collections of AUC institutions as case studies, this course examines the role of institutions, curators, and other museum professionals.
AVC375 Rules of Engagement (2 credits)
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This seminar provides a basic introduction to the topics and individuals that shape and inform curatorial practice. Through roundtable discussions, structured classroom exercises, field trips, and workshops that are facilitated by a variety of arts professionals, students will discuss and analyze the challenges, limits, rules, and opportunities that have historically governed curatorial fields. Students will develop foundational skills that will help prepare them to begin developing their own curatorial voice.
AVC435 Theory and Criticism in Exhibition Practice (3 credits)
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This advanced seminar explores the ways in which our contemporary understanding of art, history, and culture is constructed and informed by public display in museums, galleries, and the global landscape. Using a series of case studies, it considers issues of representation, display, reception, and wider social contexts in which art and culture are experienced in museums and public spaces.
SAVC 475 Curatorial Practicum (3 credits)
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In this advanced seminar students will research and write a proposal for an exhibition, which will be a culminating, capstone project for the curatorial minor. The final project may be a physical or digital exhibition.  Students will also be encouraged to explore opportunities to partner with arts, education, and community organizations in the Atlanta area, and explore alternative exhibition designs and education initiatives both within and outside of traditional venues.

*See the department for information on electives.

Students minoring in Curatorial Studies or Art History might also consider the Curatorial Studies program.

Through the ARCHE Program, the department also offers opportunities for study at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)Georgia State UniversityAgnes Scott CollegeEmory UniversityUniversity of Georgia, and several other visual arts programs throughout the state university system.