Course Descriptions (GSAS Bulletin)
History and Theory of Museums
MSMS-GA 1500 Cain, Mallampati.4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
Introduction to the social and political history, and theory of museums. This course focuses on the formation of a variety of museums from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives and analyzes questions surrounding governance, nationalism, identity, and community. The requirements include frequent visits to museums, short writing assignments, and a final research paper.
Museum Collections and Exhibitions
MSMS-GA 1501 Gear. 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
This course covers museum collections management and the organization of exhibitions. There are arranged visits to the storage collections of the American Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum, among others. Guest speakers are curators, a registrar and a conservator. Assignments consist of individual reports and team projects.
MSMS-GA 1502 Beesch, Schwartz . 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
Overview of management, finance, and administration. Topics covered include organizational structure and the roles and relationships of museum departments; operational issues, including security and disaster planning; museum accounting and finance, including operating and capital expense budgeting; leadership and strategic planning; and legal and ethical issues facing museums.
MSMS-GA 3990 Required of all M.A. and advanced certificate candidates. Mallampati. 2 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
Students nearing completion of their master’s in museum studies, or their certificate and their academic degree, must apply in writing to the program internship coordinator. Placements are made on an individual basis and are project oriented. For one or more semesters, a minimum of 300 hours is spent as an intern at a museum or other suitable institution. A daily log, diary, and progress report are required. Students must earn a grade of B or better to receive the M.A. or advanced certificate.
MSMS-GA 3991 Required of all M.A. and advanced certificate candidates. Cain, Geismar. 2 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
Students conduct research combining their academic and professional interests, using appropriate methodology. They formulate a topic, prepare an annotated bibliography, and write the qualifying paper based on their research. M.A. students also develop their thesis proposal.
Topics in Museum Studies
MSMS-GA 3330 4 points.
Current issues in the museum profession and the interdisciplinary study of museums. Outside museum scholars, specialists, and university faculty offer in-depth examination of topics. Among the topics offered in recent years have been, Anthropology in and of Museums, Exhibition History, Creating a Memorial Museum, Curating as Collaboration, Museums and Political Conflict, and Cultural Property, Rights, and Museums. Practicums with hands-on components also are offered periodically under this course number. (Refer to the current course schedule for particular seminars offered in each academic year.)
Research in Museum Studies
MSMS-GA 3915 1-4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
Independent research on a topic determined in consultation with the program director.
Development, Fund-Raising, and Grantsmanship
MSMS-GA 2221 Lineker. 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
Overview of organizational development principles as they relate to the fund-raising and grantsmanship process. Topics include sources of funding, current trends, and fund-raising techniques; earned income; public relations; volunteers; and membership. Includes a practicum in proposal writing and work experience with an arts organization in program development and fund-raising.
Museum Conservation and Contemporary Culture
MSMS-GA 2222 Wharton. 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
This seminar introduces students to the conservation of cultural heritage and the role it plays in shaping cultural memory. It covers preservation values as they developed in western culture, and addresses concerns of living artists, indigenous groups and others with claims to the disposition and care of cultural materials.
Historic Sites, Cultural Landscapes, and the Politics of Preservation
MSMS-GA 2223 Cain. 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
Examines the cultural politics, social trends and economic circumstances that shape the preservation and interpretation of historic spaces. Through readings, site visits, and archival research, students investigate a wide variety of historic sites, exploring the social and political contexts that dictated sites’ original use and influence subsequent reuse and interpretation.
MSMS-GA 2224 Crow. 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
This seminar provides an overview of the field of museum education in the context of the institution’s relationship with constituent communities and with application to a broad range of audiences. Among the topics considered are teaching from objects, learning strategies, working with docents and volunteers, program planning, and the educational use of interactive technologies.
Museums and Interactive Technologies
MSMS-GA 2225 Flouty. 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
This course presents a survey and analysis of museum use of interactive technologies. Among the topics discussed in detail are strategies and tools for collections management, exhibitions, educational resources and programs, Web site design, digitization projects, and legal issues arising from the use of these technologies. Each student develops an interactive project in an area of special interest.
Exhibition Planning and Design
MSMS-GA 3332 Gallagher. 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
This course focuses on the planning, development, and design of exhibitions, permanent, temporary, and traveling. It is a participatory class where students learn basic exhibition design techniques, including spatial layouts and the use of graphics, audiovisual aids, lighting, colors, materials, and fabrication methods. There are visits to designers to discuss their work and to museums to analyze exhibition design techniques. Individual student projects provide hands-on experience.
Museums and Contemporary Art
MSMS-GA 3335 Altshuler. 4 points. 2011-12, 2012-13.
This course investigates historical, theoretical, and practical aspects of the collecting and exhibiting of contemporary art in museums. Topics include curatorial strategies for exhibition and collection development, international biennials, museums and the art market, conservation of new art forms, artworks that take the museum as subject, and conflicts of interest.