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Sotheby's Institute of Art

Introduction to Curating - Online

Available dates

Oct 30—Dec 10, 2019
USD 1485


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About the course

Curating plays an integral role in presenting art in contemporary culture—yet few outside its ranks exactly know what goes into the curation of a top-tier exhibit. This course provides an immersive encounter with curatorial practice in today’s art world, with an emphasis on curating contemporary art.

Through thoughtful analysis of what successful curating looks like, you will develop the skills needed to navigate the field, from understanding the role of the curator to planning an exhibition. Introduction to Curating discusses the history of curating as well as the day-to-day responsibilities of a curator and examines how a curator builds a museum-quality collection. This course also explores the way the field is changing and addresses the increasingly complex nature of exhibiting art.

What you will learn:

  • A familiarity with the nature of curatorial practice today, including different types of curators and the variety of spaces in which they work.
  • The critical components of putting together an exhibition, including how to write exhibition and tour proposals.
  • An understanding of how collections are built within and outside of museum spaces and how curators make acquisitions.
  • The ability to accurately write a wall text and extended object labels.

Sample Topics

Week 1: What is a Curator?

  • Overview of Curatorial Roles
  • A Brief History of the Field
  • Who Are Today’s Curators?

Week 2: A Month in the Life of a Curator

  • Overview of Exhibition Design and Building
  • Beyond Exhibitions
  • Introductory Wall Text

Week 3: How Does a Curator Put Together an Exhibition?

  • The Idea, the Pitch, and the Checklist
  • Types of Exhibitions and Planning

Week 4: How Does a Curator Build a Collection?

  • Types of Collections and Collection Strategies
  • How Work is Acquired

Week 5: What Skills are Required to Be Successful?

  • Fundraising and Grant Writing
  • Managing Budgets
  • Building Networks and Relationship
  • PR and Social Media

Week 6: What is the Future of Curating?

  • Current Challenges in a Changing Field
  • How to Write and Extended Object Label

Trust the experts

Alexandra Schwartz

Ph.D. and MA, History of Art, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Alexandra Schwartz is a New York-based independent curator and scholar of modern and contemporary art. Her recent and upcoming exhibitions include As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art In...


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