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HA947 - Then and Now: Displaying the Renaissance

  • Module code: HA947
  • Module name: Then and Now: Displaying the Renaissance
  • Department: History of Art
  • Credit: 30

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The course addresses the significance of setting, context and audience for Renaissance works of art – both today and in the past. In recent years, museum and exhibition curators have become increasingly exercised by displaying Renaissance objects and works of art in ways that echo practices of display that can be reconstructed within the Renaissance period (vis-à-vis lighting, eye-level, ensembles of objects and material that echo documented groupings). This is perhaps the single most fraught issue within current curatorial practice. Students on this course will consider the evidence for display within the historical period, and how modern museum practice seeks to evoke or copy arrangements that have been reconstructed through academic research. The ethics of reconstructing lost spaces and fragmentary originals will be analysed, together with the challenges modern displays pose to traditional divisions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ or ‘decorative’ art. Students will have contact with curators who have engaged with these problems when designing museum or exhibition displays.

Principal learning outcomes

Students will demonstrate familiarity with the main developments in the display of Renaissance art from the nineteenth century to the present day. They will be equipped with the theoretical and methodological skills to critically analyse how recent exhibitions relate to modern academic research on the display and reception of images and objects in the Renaissance period.

Timetabled teaching activities

2 hr seminar a week

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
30 CATS (Module code: HA947-30)
A (Assessed work only) 5000 word essay 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (part year) visiting 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • Postgraduate Taught Philosophy and the Arts (V7PN) - Year 2
Optional Core
  • Postgraduate Taught History of Art (V4P2) - Year 2