All Programs


Museum Studies Courses

MUSE 600:  Museum Studies: History and Theory (4) (Core).
This foundational seminar provides an interdisciplinary survey of major approaches, theories, issues, and debates in the field of Museum Studies. (Offered fall)

MUSE 601: Cultural and Financial Management (4) (Core). 
This seminar provides tools for managing and running cultural institutions in the 21st century, including units on financial management, budgeting, fundraising, the visitor experience, human resources and strategic planning. (Offered fall)

MUSE 602: Museums and Social Justice (4) (Core). 
In this seminar, students assess why museums should be engaged in social justice issues and then deeply explore three core issues and how three San Francisco Bay Area institutions are addressing them in order to propose appropriate institutional interventions and programs. The course exposes students to how museums are addressing the shifting politics of identity and equality at global, national and local levels. By working with three local institutions on the representation of diversity and human rights issues, students realize the potential of museums to contribute to more equitable, fair and just societies. (Offered spring)

MUSE 603: Collections Management and Preservation (4) (Core). 
This course provides an introduction to collection stewardship and the fundamentals of preservation in the museum environment. Issues covered include documentation, materials, agents of deterioration, preventive care methodologies, terminology, legal framework, and related technology. The course frames preservation today as one of many co-existing mandates within a museum and analyzes preservation strategies using a holistic approach. (Offered spring)

MUSE 605: Curatorial Studies Practicum (4) (Elective). 
In this course, students develop a historical and theoretical basis and direct, professional practice in fundamental areas of curatorial/museum studies. Topics include the evolving definitions and responsibilities of a museum curator, the 'objects’ and interpretative approaches of curatorial purview, best curatorial practices and a variety of issues related to the building, research and display of a coherent collection. Students participate in numerous, hands-on, curatorial workshops, and curate a professional, public exhibition using USF’s Thacher Gallery, Donohue Rare Book Room or other local venue. (Offered every other fall, beginning fall 2014)

MUSE 606 (cross-listed with ART 345): Exhibition Design Practicum (4) (Elective).
This course provides students with hands-on experience in the planning, design, and installation of a public exhibition for the university’s Thacher Gallery. Coursework will include independent student research, sustained project work, and critiques, placing equal emphasis on concepts (content development) and craft (signage production and artifact installation). Lectures, readings, and guided discussions that pertain to the exhibition theme supplement project work. To successfully complete this course, students will be expected to understand and emulate the wide range of interpretive strategies that distinguish the artifact-based museums of the early 20th century to the experience-based museums of today. (Offered every other spring, beginning spring 2015)

MUSE 607: Museums and the Law Practicum (4) (Elective).  
Students explore the application of legal principles to museum practices through case studies and discussions. Areas covered include accessioning and de-accessioning policies, stolen work and cultural patrimony issues, tax and intellectual property concerns and the legal impact of technology and new fundraising strategies on museums. (Offered every other fall, beginning fall 2013) 

MUSE 608: Museums and Technology Practicum (4) (Elective). 
In this course, students explore the impact and use of social media and Internet technology on the museum, including a thorough examination of the current uses and effects of digitization, the Internet and commercial wireless technologies in the museum setting. Students will survey relevant technologies, engage with guest lectures by technology and museum professionals and develop an innovative technology project for a museum. (Offered every other spring, beginning spring 2014)

MUSE 610: Graduate Internship (4) (Core). 
This full-time internship (35 hours per week completed over 12 weeks) places students in a museum setting where they complete a major project under the guidance of an on-site museum supervisor and a museum studies faculty member (project areas might include: collections management, project management, technology, research, community outreach, visitor services, educational programming, fund raising, public relations, curating of exhibitions, among other fields). This is an on-line course and may be completed remotely in a location of the student’s choice. For those wishing to intern in the San Francisco Bay Area, partner organizations include: the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (De Young Museum and Legion of Honor), the San Francisco Museum of Modern art (SFMOMA), the California Academy of Sciences, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Exploratorium, the Museum of Craft and Design, the National Japanese-American Historical Society, the Walt Disney Family Museum, the SFO Museum and many others. Students design and execute a project relating theory to practice as part of their internship experience and craft a Final Report and digital portfolio to share and analyze their findings. (Offered summer).

MUSE 630: Museum Project Management: Capstone (4) (Core). 
This final capstone professional practice course covers both the tools and techniques of project management as it applies to several kinds of museum activities such as collections digitization and inventory, exhibition development and participatory exhibition design, special events, capital campaigns and so on. Students examine various components and pitfalls of project management. They will then apply this model to design a specific project typically undertaken in a museum. The M.A. program concludes with graduating students’ public presentations of their capstone projects in tandem with this course just prior to the December graduation ceremony. (Offered fall).

Elective Courses Cross-Listed with the B.A. program in Art History/Arts Management:

MUSE 652/ART 302 - Renaissance Art (4) 
This upper-division seminar explores issues and moments in European art and visual culture, circa 1400-1600, with an emphasis on the early modern visual traditions in Italy and the Lowlands. Weekly class meetings focus on individual topics such as: Humanist Art and Republican Values in Early Renaissance Florence, the Medici and the Age of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Botticelli as Visual Poet, Leonardo da Vinci: Drawing and Visual Knowledge, Papal Power and Visual Propaganda in Early 16th-Century Rome, Michelangelo and the Robust Male Nude, Gender, Virtue(s) and Social Status in Renaissance Portraiture and Courtly Art in the Burgundian Netherlands. 

MUSE 653/ART 303 – Baroque Art: From Rome to Versailles (4)  
This upper-division seminar examines topics in Baroque painting, sculpture and architecture, with special attention to the varied visual, cultural and religious traditions that flourished in and around some of the major urban areas of 17th-century Europe, including Rome, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Paris. Focusing on the works of Caravaggio, the Carracci, Bernini, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Poussin, the course trains a special eye on issues such as the rise of the famed, international artist in the 17th-century, church and court patronage in the post-Tridentine period, the impact of the devastating Thirty Years’ War and the expansion of global exploration and trade on European artistic practice, and shifting conceptions of painting in the new Dutch Republic and the French court of Louis XIV.

MUSE 655/ART 305 – Modern & Contemporary Art (4) 
This upper-division seminar takes into account new approaches to the study of visual culture—including painting, sculpture, photography, performance, video, architecture—from 1945 to the present. Through thematic and monographic case studies, students investigate questions about artistic identity, the status and function of art in the post-World War II period, and the changing nature of avant-garde practices in the wake of the social, cultural, and economic changes of the 1960s and 1970s. Moving along a clear timeline, the course looks at key movements such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Feminist Art, Postmodernism, performance and video art to explore the political, theoretical and issue-based debates that have inspired the art and criticism since 1945. Throughout the course, students examine the political and social context for contemporary art practice and criticism, including the civil rights movement, feminism, environmentalism, the anti-war movement, postmodernism and globalization.

 MUSE 656/ART 306 – Women & Art (4) 
This course examines the history of female artists from the Middle Ages to the present, with an emphasis on artists working in Europe and the United States for the first half of the course, and a global perspective on modern and contemporary art for the second. Students explore how the identity of the “woman artist” has been socially constructed over time, with particular emphasis upon how gender and sexual-identity, social class, race, and ethnicity have informed both artistic creation and reception. The course addresses how art history and institutions (educational and exhibition forums) have accounted for—or failed to account for—women's artistic production in a global context.

MUSE 657/ART 307 – Asian Art (4) 
This lecture course examines periods and monuments of Asian art from India, China, and Japan, and offers an introduction to the methods of art-historical analysis. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of works of art in their original religious, intellectual, political, and social contexts, with particular attention to the ways each developed characteristics appropriate to these contexts. Among the topics to be explored are ritual arts, Buddhist art (painting, sculpture, and architecture), secular painting, and garden architecture.

MUSE 658/ART 308 – African Art (4) 
This introductory class helps students gain knowledge and appreciation of the plastic and kinetic arts of sub-Saharan Africa. Mythology, masking traditions, ritual and spirituality, gender and cultural issues of traditional and contemporary African cultures are examined through slide lectures, videos, and museum visits.

 MUSE 659/ART 309 – Art of the Americas (4)  
This course surveys the arts of the Americas from pre-Columbian North and South America through the present. The course emphasizes the native arts of the Americas in the broadest sense by examining the work of native cultures, immigrant cultures with special attention to Latino art.

 MUSE 661/ART 311 - Medieval Art & Society (4)  
Contemporary thinking about the art of the Middle Ages is often dominated by a long-standing prejudice and propensity to see it as somehow "backward," “simplistic,” or lacking in intrinsic interest or value. However, a wealth of art historical scholarship over the past few decades has begun to recapture the ways a vast array of medieval art and architecture reflects the unique cultural and intellectual concerns, compelling religious, economic and political circumstances, and complex social challenges of a lengthy and fascinating stretch of European history. This seminar highlights significant “moments” and monuments of the long Middle Ages, with an eye to underscoring some of the incredible richness and sophistication of medieval artistic production from the beginnings of Christian art through the late Gothic period.

 MUSE 690/ART 390 – Special Topics in Art History (4) 
One-time offerings of special interest courses in art history.