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Course content

Prestigious Scottish Funding Council Awards are available to high calibre applicants for this programme. The SFC has selected this programme in recognition of the high demand for students with these qualifications. The awards cover all tuition costs; for further information, please see: http://www.glasgow.ac.uk/postgraduate/funded/

This Masters introduces you to the study of the history of collecting, as it has been pursued by individuals and by civic, educational or national institutions. It examines cultures of collecting and various modalities for the presentation of collections as developed in Asia, Europe, and more specifically Britain, from the late 18th century onwards through to the present. You will consider a range of theoretical and ethical issues as well as financial and societal mechanisms, which have informed collecting practices historically and that continue to do so. You will explore methodological approaches and core concepts, such as connoisseurship, taste and professionalisation, and consider how international travel, the trajectory of the art market and other types of exchange have impacted upon collecting practices.

Key facts

• MLitt: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
• Contact: Dr. Minna Torma:

Why Glasgow

• You will learn from world-leading researchers and develop expert knowledge in this specialised area within History of Art.
• Glasgow’s civic and university collections are some of the richest and most diverse in Europe and are of international standing. The University’s own Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery is the oldest public museum in Scotland and has extensive holdings covering fine art, geology, anatomy and the history of medicine.
• Our research forum provides you with a lively and stimulating introduction to methodological debates within art history. It provides a sense of art history’s own history as well as contemporary concerns and practice, examining the beliefs and values that have informed various forms of historical and visual analysis and enquiry. It is focused around a series of seminars or workshops run by members of staff and visiting academics.

You will take five core courses and one optional course and complete a dissertation 15,000 words in length (including footnotes but excluding bibliography) which will be on a topic chosen in consultation with the tutors and the programme convenor. You will also have the opportunity to take part in a field trip.

Core courses

• Research methods in practice
• Cultures of collecting
• Collecting East Asian art
• Collecting landscapes

Optional courses

• Patterns of collecting Chinese art
• Economies of collecting contemporary art

And then you may choose
• a Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) course: 2D Digitisation (Theory and Practice)
• a course from elsewhere in the College of Arts, subject to the approval of the programme convenor.

Or from these options offered by History of Art
• Independent study
• Hunterian placement
• Work placement

Background

This programme introduces you to the study of the history of collecting, as it has been pursued by individuals and by civic, educational or national institutions. It examines cultures of collecting and various modalities for the presentation of collections as developed in Europe, Asia, North America and more specifically Britain, from the late 18th century through to the present. You will consider a range of theoretical and ethical issues alongside cultural, financial and societal mechanisms that have informed collecting practices historically and which continue to do so. You will also have the opportunity to explore a range of different collections from the encyclopaedic to the concise, and to question their context and strategies of presentation and their circulation through loan.

Themes of the programme include:
• How collections have been framed by: questions of subjectivity; by the emergence of nation states or the pursuit of empire; by the emergence of exchange and circulation mechanisms such as the market; and by broader societal processes informing the collecting practices of institutions and individuals
• The significance of a range of factors to collections and their histories, including: connoisseurship, taste and travel, the operations of the market, patterns of exchange, the professionalization of the curator, specialisation of knowledge, civil society and benefactors

Through its courses and the work placements it offers, the programme seeks to offer you sustained engagement and contact with collections in context. Teaching is based partly in the classroom and partly in collections, and the University’s own Hunterian collections provide a consistent point of departure and contextualisation for the students. The programme makes use of public and private collections accessible in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and further afield in Scotland.

The programme includes a field trip to Newcastle and the Northeast.

Visit the Art History: History of Collecting & Collections [MLitt] page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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