London is a global cultural capital served with an amazing array of institutions, including global, urban, university, house and art museums. But how did these organizations develop, and what social functions are they expected to fulfill? Why do people collect objects, and how do such collections transform over time, sometimes to become institutionalized as a museum? For centuries London has been a key player in the cultural appropriation of the ancient world, and the central location of King's on the Strand enables easy access to many great cultural institutions.
We will focus on three main themes: 1) the cultural history of London since the Eighteenth century; 2) the collection and appropriation of classical (Greek and Roman) antiquity through the lens of this global capital; 3) themes in museum studies, such as ‘education versus entertainment’ and ‘museum as theatre’, with reference to relevant examples in London.
Frequent trips form a key part of this module, and may include: the British Museum, Soane's Museum, the Museum of London, the Hunterian museum and the National Gallery, with talks by curators where appropriate.
Caygill, M. 2003. The British Museum: 250 Years
Pearce, S. 1992. Museums, Objects, and Collections
Ross, C. and J. Clark. 2008. London: The Illustrated History
Skinner, P. 2007. Museums of London: A Guide for Residents and Visitors
Sloan, K. (ed.) 2003. Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century
Swain, H. 2007. An Introduction to Museum Archaeology
Taylor, B. 1999. Art for the Nation
Willis, A. 2004. Museums and Galleries of London
Module assessment - more information
1 x 5,000 word essay/project