This course examines the history of art collecting and collections from their origins in temple treasuries, through the private collections of the mediaeval worlds of Europe and Asia, to the role of patrons and princes, past and present in the establishment of art collections and policies. The impact of world exploration and empire on the development of collections and the evolution of public collections are major themes. In addition, contemporary issues regarding collection development will be addressed. The impact of social, political and ethical environments on museum collecting, display and documentation will be explored with particular reference to Australian collections.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Outline and present orally and in written form major themes of collecting history.
2. Use electronic resources to find and share information regarding international laws relating to cultural heritage, and discuss their impact on collecting.
3. Interpret and critique commentary, written and oral, related to art collecting internationally.
4. Develop hypotheses regarding potential subtexts within the material itself.
5. Identify, analyse and describe contemporary factors affecting art collection development.
Indicative Assessment2 x Research Papers, 2000 words each (35% each for a total of 70%) Learning Outcomes 1-5
2 x Tutorial presentations, 15 minutes each (10% each for a total of 20%) Learning Outcomes 1-5
Participation - tutorials and online activities (10%) Learning Outcomes 2-4
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingJonathon Brown. "Kings and Connoisseurs. Collecting art in seventeenth century Europe", Princeton: University Press, 1994.
Sarah Thornton. “Seven Days in the Art World”, W.W.Norton and Co: New York, 2008.
Journal of the History of Collections (available as electronic full-text journal through the ANU library).
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