Fall 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Brettell, Rick
Discipline and Number
HUAS 6324 Section 001
T Time 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Art Museum: Louvre to Abu-Dhabi

Description of Course:

The first truly public art museum in the world was created in the aftermath of the French revolution in the urban palace of the kings of France. Its most recent incarnation is a "branch" in Abu Dhabi designed by a post-modern French architect for a global audience unimaginable in the late 18th century. Between 1792 and the present, literally thousands- probably hundreds of thousands-- of art museums have opened across the globe, becoming the most important institution to define "art" of all types and periods for an evolving modern citizenry. In this way, museums are fully comparable to libraries in their range, diversity and reach. The course will deal with the theories of art museums, their typologies, their politics, and the nature of the critiques against them formulated by writers, philosophers, politicians, historians, art historians, and theorists.

Required Texts:


Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Each student in the class will be asked to work with the instructor to identify three museums-- one in Texas, one in the United States, and one in a foreign global place-- that will be "adopted" by each student (who will become an expert in their history, collections, identity, funding, and audiences) and that will form the basis for class discussions and for a comparative research paper due at the last class.

The readings for the class will be assigned weekly to groups of students or individuals, whose reports and discussions in class will constitute the bibliography. Class reports and participation will constitute 1/2 the grade and the research paper the other half.

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