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School of History

HST5606 - London and its Museums

This module will take you through a journey of the history of the exhibiting space based on London's museums and galleries.

Module code: HST5606

Credits: 15

Module Convenor: Dr Chloe Ward

This module will begin by looking at the historical development of museums from the random gathering of natural and man-made objects found in the cabinet of curiosities of the Renaissance to the institutional role played by modern and contemporary museums. We will have the opportunity to explore London's collections for the purpose of contextualizing and critically evaluating the cultural and historical value, purpose, educational role and key public function of different types of exhibiting space and exhibitions. Along with developing knowledge of the contents of collections, the module will focus on ideas of collecting, curatorial knowledge and theories of display, with the aim of deconstructing the cultural narratives and ideological representations provided by each exhibiting space. The entirety of this module will take place outside of the university campus as each week will see the class visiting a different museum. In weekly visits to museums and galleries in London, students will consider history in a broader perspective, evaluate museum space and exhibition experiences, and demonstrate how historical research can be applied in the environment of museum studies, public engagement, and art analysis.

Assessment: Essay 1 (1,000 words) [25%] and Exhibition Proposal [75%]
Level: 5

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