Issues in Museumology and Practices of curatorship | Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem

Issues in Museumology and Practices of curatorship

Total Hours
Semester B
Course Day
Time 14:30 - 16:00

divisions - the first "Issues in Museology", which is basically theoretical and the second, "Curatorial Practices", which puts emphasis on the curatorial with its various manifestations.


Museology is a relatively new academic discipline, dealing with the different facets of the museum. What is a museum? What is Museology? What do museums have in common and what draws the difference between an art museum from a science, natural history or ethnography museum?


The first division will present several perspectives of museum research, while bringing forward case studies on topics that concern both the museum establishment and academic research. We will focus on four key aspects: the collection, the space, the display and the audience. The interrelationships between them and their change with the Zeitgeist will expose the Museum’s evolution. These issues will be analyzed historically, geographically and social-wise. We will talk about the changing notion of the terms: museum, collections, taxonomy and representation. Basic concepts: authenticity, origin (provenance) and "canon" will be discussed in great detail. Special attention will be given to transformation in museum architecture from a temple to an "empty shell." "The New Museology", the democratization processes of museums and the visitor experience will be illustrated by several case studies.


The place of the exhibition - between permanent and temporary, between didactics and populism will serve as the parting line between the two sections of the course.


Curatorial practices are even a younger academic discipline. However, it’s presence is quite substantial in the contemporary art world both on the theoretical level and in the exhibitions themselves - in the way they are conceived and in the way they are presented. In it’s inception, the curatorial profession concentrated on taking care of collections, engaging in their classification, sorting their artifacts and dealing with their preservation. Today, the role of the curator has changed dramatically and it’s scope is much wider and richer. During the course we will examine and analyze several curatorial agencies with the aid of theoretical texts and curatorial case studies. We will look into the concept of intimate exhibitions compared to large-scale international exhibitions; We will think of how theoretical backgrounds yield curatorial manifestations; and we will see how social and political criticism helps to go beyond the limits of the familiar discourse and transgresses the boundaries of space.