Postgraduate taught 

Art History: Collecting & Provenance in an International Context MSc

Collecting and Display HISTART5125

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the roles of collectors, dealers and curators involved in the world of collecting, both historically and in contemporary practice. It discusses definitions and changing perceptions of collecting from private to public and elaborates on the display of objects in the private and public domains.


Normally two hours weekly; lectures and seminars, in addition to these a museum visit, for ten weeks. Museum visit (one of the Glasgow collections) highlights the display strategies used in curating collections/exhibitions.

Excluded Courses






One 3-4000 word Essay (70%)

One 15 minute Oral presentation on a Case Study (30%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Develop students' knowledge and understanding of the history of collecting in global context

■ Study collecting from cross cultural and post-colonial perspective in order to highlight the diverse social, economic and political factors which may have an impact on the private and public practices of collecting and display

■ Expand students' analytical thinking and writing and to develop their oral presentation skills

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Relate various theoretical approaches, such as post-colonial theory, psychoanalytical theory, gender studies and semiotics, to the study of collections in a wider sense

■ Make valid comparisons between both individual and institutional patterns of collecting

■ Recognise the diversity of the practices and fashions of collecting in different parts of the globe

■ Use the skills and knowledge to critically select and assess different types of primary sources for the study of history of collecting

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.