ART 348 - Challenging Collecting and Exhibition Practices
This seminar focuses on art collection practices of different public and private art institutions in the United States and other countries to unpack how museum collections’ motives, methodologies, and systems of categorization stem from colonialist modes of oppression relying heavily on biases in gender, race, and socioeconomic status. Though recently we have strived to rectify similar biases manifest in the college’s own art collection, with the addition of many works by artists of different racial, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds, there is still work to be done!
One way to correct course is to let students select. The students in this seminar have the unique opportunity to contribute to building the college’s art collection. After students become familiar with the problematics of the traditional museum collection and exhibition practices, as a group we will analyze Davidson’s art collection to see what steps we can take to further rectify inequities and biases in collection practices stemming from cultural, racial, and/or gender bias. Students will work together with instructors to investigate potential artworks to add to the Davidson collection, make their case regarding their choices for purchase, meet with gallery owners and curators and, as a group, arrive at a consensus as to which artwork(s) should be purchased to help rectify the imbalances found in the current collection. The seminar will culminate in students showing their video logs (vlogs) of the progress throughout the semester at the Verna Miller Case Symposium, as well as unveiling the new work(s) purchased by the collective group.
Readings for this course includes excerpts from publications focused on understanding previous practices and rectifying past collection and exhibition practices written by a variety of authors with contrasting viewpoints. Excerpts from recent publications will be taken from Alice Procter’s The Whole Story (2020) and Mike Murkawski’s Museums as Agents of Change (2021). More historical scholarship will be taken from edited volumes, including Gail Anderson’s edited volume, Reinventing the Museum (2012). We will also delve into examples from recent events that have raised the public’s awareness of the problematics within the field of museology.
An Art History course for the Art major and minor.
Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts Ways of Knowing requirement.
Satisfies Justice, Equality and Community requirement.
Prerequisites & Notes
To take this course, students are required to have taken at least one of the following courses:
ART218 Modern Art from Rodin-Warhol
ART234 Postmodern Art US, Europe, Beyond
ART224 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art
ART128 Modern and Contemporary Asian Art