Curating Contemporary Art
Art / Art History 496

Art / Art History 496 examines the theory and practice of curating exhibitions of contemporary art. We will look at exhibitions as a vehicle for the reception of art, philosophies of aesthetic experience, knowledge production, cultural politics, and social engagement. The class will study curatorial methodologies, historical exhibition formats, key watershed exhibitions that changed the curatorial practice, as well as the practical skills associated with realizing an exhibition. Guest curators and cultural producers will join the class to speak to their practice in relation to the larger cultural field.

“ART H 496 introduced the field of curation as if participants were training to be curators themselves. The class not only ran through the ins and outs of curatorial work but got down to the everyday minutia of curation and what is actually expected of a curator in their day-to-day lives: paperwork, the process of exhibition design, public programming, best practices and ethics, etc. It was far more serious and comprehensive than what I expected — students were treated seriously and information wasn’t withheld and nothing was dismissed. ART H 496 laid down an understandable idea of what curatorial work is, what is expected of a curator, and possible paths to one becoming a curator themselves. It was a crash course on a very specific career path that often feels secretive and exclusive.” – Amelia Ketzel (Art History, ’24)
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