Curatorship Course,​ Boston University​, Spring 2019

This course is designed to introduce students to the range of theoretical and practical concerns that define the curatorial profession. Through the thematic organization of the course, students will explore the plural and multifaceted roles of a curator in various contexts, from the traditional museum and gallery to alternative and temporary spaces, as well as outdoor public sites. They will critically consider the theoretical, social and cultural implications of caring for a collection and artwork display. Additionally, they will investigate the politics of audience diversity and the ethical ramifications of the curatorial practice. In all the lessons, we will critically analyze the role of curators and cultural producers from distinct generations, positions, and ideologies, particularly those that expand upon or push against the normative definitions of curatorial practice.

Through an extensive variety of assignments, students will gain hands-on experience in curation. They will engage in studio visits, exhibition conception and development, didactics, programming, presentation, and peer exhibition reviews. The course is designed to have students create their exhibition that they could potentially implement at a real venue at the end of the semester.

During the course, students will undertake numerous field trips to critically examine a wide range of exhibitions in the Boston-area. As a class, we will visit large museums and small university art galleries, paying close attention to factors that influence curatorial decisions, from collections, audiences, location, and sites. All excursions include conversations with the institution’s curators and other institutional practitioners.

Overall, students will develop a broad familiarity with the issues driving curatorial work today, from those relating to collection management to the creative generation of concepts for exhibitions.

Follow us on Instagram: #curatorshipclassbu as we visit exhibitions in New England!

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