Postgraduate taught 

Art History: Collecting & Provenance in an International Context MSc

Cultures of Collecting - Collecting Cultures HISTART5123

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce students to aspects of the histories of collecting art and artefacts as a global phenomenon in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. It is designed to provide students with an historical framework which looks at the interplay of 'demand' and 'source' countries in the formation of collections and the extension of knowledge.


10 x 2 hour sessions: one lecture, one seminar per week

Excluded Courses





One 3500 word Essay (70%)

One 15 minute presentation (30%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ examine the complexities involved in the collecting of artefacts as a global activity during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries;

■ examine the key developments and mechanisms which enabled the formation of private and public collections, primarily in the West;

■ provide the historical framework for the Programme as a whole.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ evaluate the drivers and mechanisms that governed the collecting of art and artefacts as a global phenomenon during the periods covered by engaging critically with relevant sources;

■ identify and characterise the way in which social and economic changes in 'demand' and 'source' countries created opportunities and a market for goods;

■ apply and evaluate a range of theoretical and conceptual approaches to the history of collecting;

■ analyse and reflect upon the visual and textual evidence studied to construct reasoned arguments in both oral and written form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.