HONOURS CURATORSHIP 2020
The Honours Programme in Curatorship is offered by the Michaelis School of Fine Art and hosted by the Centre for Curating the Archive in close collaboration with Iziko Museums of Cape Town.
The programme offers courses in the theory and practice of curatorship, developing in students a sophisticated awareness of the practicalities, politics and poetics of working with collections of many kinds. Students are encouraged to bring the disciplinary insights of their undergraduate major (whether this be in the visual arts, the humanities or the sciences) to the curating of both material and virtual collections, and are offered opportunities to work on exhibitions in public spaces and in the digital realm. A major aim of this programme is to introduce students, through seminars, fieldwork and workshops, to the central skills of a curator: to understand objects and how to research them, to work with collections, convening them in exhibitions, and to collaborate with artists, mediating their production. In 2020 we will continue our special focus on object studies, and the multiple ways in which such a focus can help transform museum practice.
The course prepares students for further postgraduate study or possible work as curators, museum educators, collection managers, and for positions that require the use, interpretation, display and manipulation of collections.
A limited number of department bursaries to the value of R85k each are available. Preference will be given to designated groups. Candidates should motivate for consideration when applying.
Given that the support we are able to offer is limited, it is recommended that prospective students pursue other avenues of support, namely general university funding as well as the National Arts Council of South Africa. For more information about postgraduate funding offered by the university, please see http://www.students.uct.ac.za/students/fees-funding/postgraduate-degree-funding/applications-requirements
- Critical thinking in curatorship
- Working with museum collections
- Research essay/project
- Elective courses (two required):
- Practical communication
- Virtual display
- Local issues in curatorship
Other possible electives:
An elective from another humanities faculty honours course may be chosen where appropriate to replace one of the above with permission from the programme convener, Professor Pippa Skotnes. Students are advised to refer to the honours electives in the visual and art history programme in particular.
A range of compulsory introductory and specialist workshops will be offered in the ﬁelds of curation and conservation.
The programme includes a mandatory sixty-hour internship, at a museum or gallery, where students are exposed to curatorial working practice. Students’ performance is evaluated by internal and external supervisors.
Field trips and study visits:
First-hand encounters with collections, curators and sites of display are an integral part of our programme and the learning experience on offer. These faculty-led visits include day trips to venues in and around Cape Town exposing the class to a range of institutional and independent practitioners, as well as an array of exhibition models and collections. Students are encouraged to participate in intense discussion and critical reﬂection around these encounters.