The curatorial studies minor introduces students to the contemporary and historic study of the exhibition, display, preservation and interpretation of art objects. Rooted in hands-on, object-based inquiry, students engage the exhibitions and permanent collections of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, the Spelman College Innovation Lab, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library. Additional Atlanta-based institutions serve as case studies in order to examine the role that institutions, curators, and other museum professionals play in shaping the curatorial studies field. The also provides students with avenues to continue their education in a variety of postgraduate programs and/or careers in the visual arts.
Curious About a Career in Art?
Contact Rachel Brown,
Program Manager for
AUC Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective and an avid photographer.
Curatorial Studies Minor Course Descriptions
SAVC 235 Introduction to the Object
This foundational course for the curatorial studies minor introduces a common vocabulary and conceptualization for discussing works of art. It provides a shared frame of reference for all students who are interested in the field of curatorial studies. Using exhibitions and works from the permanent collections of AUC institutions as case studies, students examine the role of institutions, curators and other museum professionals.
SAVC 305 Seminar in Curatorial Practice
This course introduces curatorial methodologies and strategies for developing a broad range of exhibitions (monographic, thematic and permanent collection shows, media-based and interactive projects, etc.). It examines how museums produce knowledge, considering the ways in which art history and visual culture studies have been informed by museum collection and display policies. This course is designed for students who are curious about curatorial projects and curating practices.
SAVC 306 Mining the Museum
This course positions museums as dynamic, changing, non-neutral spaces that should be respected as extraordinary cultural assets, that should be enjoyed and challenged, critiqued, and scrutinized. This course focuses on seminal exhibitions that inform current perceptions of and interactions with museums. Using exhibitions and works from the permanent collections of AUC institutions as case studies, this course examines the role of institutions, curators, and other museum professionals.
SAVC 375 Rules of Engagement
Rules of Engagement provides a basic introduction to the topics and individuals that shape and inform curatorial practice. Through roundtable discussions, structured classroom exercises, field trips, and workshops with a variety of arts professionals, students will discuss and analyze the challenges, limits, rules, and opportunities that have historically informed curatorial practice.
SAVC 435 Theory and Criticism in Exhibition Practice
This advanced seminar explores the ways in which our contemporary understanding of art, history and culture is constructed and informed by public display in museums, galleries and the global landscape. Using a series of case studies, it considers issues of representation, display, reception, and wider social contexts in which art and culture are experienced in museums and public spaces.
SAVC 475 Curatorial Practicum
In this advanced seminar, students research and write a proposal for an exhibition, which is the culminating, capstone project for the curatorial minor. This final project may be a physical or digital exhibition. Students are encouraged to explore opportunities to partner with arts, education, and community organizations in the Atlanta area, as well as alternative exhibition designs and educational initiatives both within and outside of traditional venues.
Through the ARCHE Program, the department also offers opportunities for study at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College, Emory University, University of Georgia, and several other visual arts programs throughout the state university system.