90703 - Collections, musées et publics

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Sandra Costa
  • Credits:: 6
  • SSD: L-ART/04
  • Language: French
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Visual Arts (cod. 9071)

Learning outcomes

Students acquire knowledge of the theory and history of public and private collecting; they do so examining in depth the specific problems related to museology and to the relationship between museums and their diversified public; they develop useful skills to understand museum realities; they are able to recognise and analyse the evolution of display theories and the social and cultural role of museums. In particular, they become acquainted with the needs of museological and museographic planning with respect to the public’s fruition; they are able to use research and investigation tools in the field of museology and art mediation (interpretation); thanks to their experience in participatory and laboratory teaching approaches, they acquire transversal expertise as well as individual and teamwork skills.

Course contents

The 30-hour course takes place in the first semester (6 CFU).

The course aims to investigate the genesis and development of museums and their audiences, with particular attention to the evolution, in Europe, of the debate on the role of museum institutions. The object of study is the international management of art collections with reference to the transformation of organisational criteria, architectural forms and policies for the conservation and presentation of collections. The student is led to acquire theoretical and historical knowledge on the protection, conservation, and management of the historical and artistic heritage. But also, to investigate in space and time the specific questions related to the practice of collecting.

The seminar activity, through case studies, aims to deepen - with the active participation of the students - aspects related to the evolution of the notion of public and the history of collection’s display.


For the final examination Students enrolled are required to prepare all the texts listed in Section One, plus at least one text from Section Two. Students who do not attend the course complete their preparation with one text from section Three.

Section One:

K. Pomian, Le Musée, une histoire mondiale, vol.1, Paris, Gallimard, 2020.

K. Pomian, Le Musée, une histoire mondiale, vol.2, Paris, Gallimard, 2021.

Section Two :

AA. VV. L’art de l’exposition. Une documentation sur trente expositions exemplaires du XXe siècle, Parigi, édition du regard, 1998.

S. Costa, D. Poulot, M. Volait (a cura di), The Period Rooms - Allestimenti storici tra arte, collezionismo e museologia, Bologna, BUP, 2016.

F. Haskell, The ephemeral museum. Old master painting and the rise of the art exhibition, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000.

D. Poulot, L’art d’aimer les objets, Laval, Presses de l’Université de Laval, 2016.

* alternativerly other bibliographical material useful to the seminar activity and selected in agreement with the teacher.

Section Three :

A. Desvallées, F. Mairesse (sous la direction de), Dictionnaire encyclopédique de muséologie, Paris, Colin, 2011.

A. Gob, N. Drouguet, La Muséologie / Histoire, Développements, Enjeux actuels, Paris, Armand Colin, 2003.

D. Poulot, Musées en Europe, Paris, La documentation française, 2020

Teaching methods

Lectures and seminar activity.

On-site visits to art exhibitions, museums, art galleries or historical complexes will integrate the course, as well as meetings with experts variously engaged in conservation and advocacy of historical-artistic heritage.

Restricted places for incoming exchange students:

Places for incoming exchange students in this teaching activity are limited and are primarily reserved to students enrolled in art related programmes at their home university. To check availability, please write to amac@unibo.it

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed during an interview: the final examination will evaluate the competence acquired at the end of the course. Successful candidates shall demonstrate an adequate knowledge of the contents covered during the course and the material indicated in the recommended readings/bibliography. They shall demonstrate critical ability to understand and explain both the theoretical approaches to the art mediation and the constantly evolving practical solutions proposed within the EU.

1. It will be graded as excellent the performance of those students demonstrating to be able to thoroughly analyse the texts and to put them into an organic view of the topics discussed during the course. The proper use of the specific language during the examination will be also essential.

2. It will be graded as discrete the performance of those students with mostly mnemonic knowledge, no in-depth analysis capabilities and a correct, but not always appropriate, language of the recommended texts.

3. It will be graded as barely sufficient the performance of those students with approximate knowledge, superficial understanding, poor analytical capabilities and a not always appropriate language.

4. It will be graded as insufficient the performance of those students with learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography.

Teaching tools

Lectures; wirkshop, powerpoint slides and videos.

Office hours

See the website of Sandra Costa


Good health and well-being Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.