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

Undergraduate Course: The Modern Art Museum (Level 10) (HIAR10199)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA course on the theory and practice of the modern art museum, with a particular focus on museum architecture. It is global in scope, and covers key trends from the 1970s to the present.
Course description Each week in this seminar-based course, we will focus on a single museum as a case study, understood as representative of a key moment in the development of the modern art museum. There will be up to ten museums covered in detail in the course, from an international range which may include MoMA, New York; the Museu de Arte de São Paulo; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; the Getty Center, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; and the 798 Art District, Beijing. An introductory class explores the main trends in museum design during the past 40 years, and how they are represented by the case studies. Although specific topics may vary from year to year, among the main trends we are likely to study are the recycling of industrial space for museums, the role of iconic museums in city branding, and the impact of the virtual museum on the design of museum buildings. By the end of the course, students will have a good understanding of the principles and concepts behind the design of up to ten art museums worldwide, as well as clear sense of how the field is developing now.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2A Reason, Romance, Revolution: Art from 1700 to 1900 (HIAR08027) AND History of Art 2B From Modernism and the Avant-Gardes to Postmodernism and Globalisation (HIAR08028)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who have passed at least 60 credits of Architectural History at Level 8 can also take these courses. If the pre-requisites cannot be met, entry to this course can be negotiated in consultation with either the Course Organiser or Programme Director (History of Art).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesAs numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Course Secretary directly for admission to this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) You will be assessed for this course in two ways:
(1) ESSAY (worth 50% of your overall mark)
One 2,000-word essay, the title to be chosen from a list supplied; due in Weeks 8-10.
(2) EXAM (worth 50% of your overall mark).
One 3-hour online exam, in December or May diet
Learning outcomes will be tested equally in both components of assessment.
Feedback Students are given feedback on FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT as follows:
You will be asked to prepare an essay plan and a preliminary bibliography. You will receive verbal feedback at a one-to-one meeting afterwards. The formative assessment will contribute to your performance in your summative assessment.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT: There will be an essay and an exam, equally weighted. Written feedback on student essays will be provided, in addition to the opportunity for a one-to-one meeting towards the end of semester.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3-hour online exam3:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate with some depth and across a breadth of material, knowledge and understanding of key developments and debates in the field of museum design.
  2. Analyse with some depth and across a breadth of material, the ways in which different museum designs engage with and address different models of art publics.
  3. Demonstrate with some depth and across a breadth of material, understanding of the role of museums in relation to wider debates in cultural policy.
  4. Critically examine how and why broader historical changes in society have contributed to changes in museum design.
Reading List
S. MacLeod, T. Austin, J. Hale and O. Ho Hing-Kay, The Future of Museum and Gallery Design: Purpose, Process, Perception (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018)

M. Pointon (ed.), Art Apart: Museums in North America and Britain Since 1800, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994)

C. Saumarez Smith, The Art Museum in Modern Times (London: Thames and Hudson, 2021)

N. Serota, Experience or Interpretation: the Dilemma of Modern Art Museums (London: Thames and Hudson, 1996)

R. J. Williams, The Culture Factory: Architecture and the Contemporary Art Museum (London: Lund Humphries, 2021)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis; Clear thinking and the development of an argument; Independent research; Presentation and communication skills; Organisation and planning; Teamwork through group discussion
KeywordsMuseum,Architecture,Culture Industry,Exhibitions,Design,Adaptive re-use
Course organiserDr Iain Campbell
Tel: (0131 6)51 3120
Course secretaryMr Nathan Ross-Hammond
Tel: (0131 6)51 5880
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