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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture - History

Undergraduate Course: Building for Culture: the Architecture of the Museum (ARHI10042)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe museum has been recognised in recent years as a site rich in cultural, social and political meaning, and is now the subject of much interdisciplinary study. Museums are among today¿s most striking buildings, and their architects are often accused of overpowering the collections the structures are designed to house. This course will trace the evolution of the specific building type from its origins in the Renaissance up to the present day, and will examine distinctions between the various museum typologies. It will look at architectural plans for the ideal museum, and examine the history of the museum as a public institution, the concept of collecting, attitudes to display and the institution¿s relationship with the public. Attention will be given to the way architecture expresses a message about the institution¿s purpose, and to architecture¿s ability to promote national values. It will look at ways in which meaning is created in the museum.
Course description Week 1
1a Introduction
1b Cabinets of Curiosity: the world in microcosm

Week 2
2a Renaissance Rome: the city as museum. The Vatican and the Museo Pio Clementino. The Grand Tour
2bThe princely gallery: the Uffizi opens to the public

Week 3
3a The Enlightenment, the Encyclopaedia and the beginnings of art history as an academic discipline. The Ideal Museum
3b The Revolutionary Louvre: royal collections transferred into public ownership. Criticism by Quatremere de Quincy

Week 4
4a Schinkel, and the expressive value of the classical. Berlin¿s Museum Island
4b The Museum as expression of national identity: Amsterdam¿s Rijksmuseum and Edinburgh¿s Portrait Gallery

Week 5
5a Museums for elites, museums for the people 1. The British Museum, the National Gallery
5b Museums for elites, museums for the people 2. The Great Exhibition, Kensington Gore, Albertopolis and the Victoria and Albert

[no lecture / seminar in Innovative Learning Week]

Week 6
6a The Bauhaus, El Lissitsky and The Abstract Cabinet
6b The Modernist museum - the MoMA model. The ¿white cube¿ ¿ apparently ¿neutral¿ space for display. The International Exhibition of Modern Architecture, 1932

Week 7
7a The Museum as Iconic Monument: Frank Lloyd Wright at the Guggenheim, Frank Gehry, Bilbao,
7b Museum as memorial: Daniel Libeskind¿s Jewish Museum in Berlin; 9/11 Memorial Museum

Week 8
8a Museum as Laboratory: Centre Pompidou
8b Institutional Critique: artists at odds with the museum. New Museology.

Week 9
9a: Museum extensions and museum conversions
9b: Beyond Bilbao: post-industrial regeneration through culture. Hepworth Wakefield, Lowry Salford, Louvre Lens, Riverside Glasgow

Week 10
10a Quai Branly: postcolonialism in the museum
10b Architecture in the museum: museums of architecture

Week 11 Revision
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History of Art courses at Grade B or above (or predicted to obtain this.) We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A thorough knowledge and understanding of the history and range of museums and their architectural forms
  2. A critical understanding of the historical and cultural significance of the museum as an institution, its role within the city and its architectural representation
  3. An ability to interpret and evaluate the values that museums impart through their architectural layouts and their strategies for display
Reading List
Duncan, Carol, Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums (London; New York: Routledge, 1995)

Giebelhausen, Michaela (ed.), The architecture of the museum: symbolic structures, urban contexts (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003)

Klonk, Charlotte, Spaces of Experience: Art Gallery Interiors from 1800 to 2000 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009)

McClellan, Andrew, The Art Museum from Boullée to Bilbao (Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 2008)

Newhouse, Victoria, Towards a New Museum, (New York: Monacelli Press, 2006)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements None
KeywordsMuseum, Architecture, History, Curation, Collection
Course organiserDr Jim Lawson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2619
Course secretaryMs Fiona Binning
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