Introduction to Curatorial Practice, Art History 391
Professor: Dhyandra Lawson (she/her/hers)
Course meets on Fridays 1:30—4:30 pm in WEIN 110
Office Hours: I would love to meet with you to talk about course content and explore ideas. Please email me to schedule in-person or virtual meetings.

This seminar explores the conceptual and practical aspects of making exhibitions. Students will examine the history of museums and investigate diverse curatorial strategies through readings, class discussions, and trips to local galleries and museums. Seminar discussions will emphasize the ethics and social impact of curators’ work. These concerns include accessibility, repatriation, the care and display of indigenous objects, exhibiting Blackness, money, power and labor dynamics.

This course uses exhibitions organized between the mid-twentieth and twenty-first centuries as case studies and examines the strategies of curators including David Driskell, Okwui Enwezor, Thelma Golden, Wanda Nanibush, and Marcia Tucker. It also investigates the structure and influence of international art fairs like documenta, Dak’Art, and the Whitney Biennial.

By the end of the semester, students will have critically examined a variety of curatorial strategies and assessed their intended and unintended outcomes. Students will gain knowledge about the practice of conceiving and organizing exhibitions.