85077 - Museology and Collection Studies (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


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

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

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will acquire a detailed knowledge of the history and theory of public and private collections, with particular attention to the specific problems posed by museology and of historical and artistic heritage management which includes safeguarding. It will also allow students to develop the necessary skills to understand museum entities and to recognise and analyse structures, spaces, displays and functions of museums in the past and in the present day. Additionally, the course will provide students with the ability to use research tools in the field of museology theory and didactic. Finally, through a cooperative learning approach and workshops, the course aims to enhance transversal skills, individual abilities and team working.

Course contents

This course will be held in the first semester, 30 hours of lessons corresponding to 6 credits.

the course aims to provide historical and methodological tools for understanding Museum through History and the formation of collections and transformations of the museum as an institution from the modern era to the present day . The historical places of the fruition of art are analyzed: collections, exhibitions and museums, focusing in particular on the Italian situation

Accordingly, this course aims at: providing means to understand the evolution of museums and their role for culture and in society; raising awareness and interest in knowledge, protection, conservation and appreciation of the surrounding cultural heritage.

In academic year 2020/2021, special attention will be paid to the analysisof the history of collection (XVII-XIX century).


  • For the final exam), students are required to prepare two texts listed in Section One, plus one text from Section Two.
  • Students who do not attend the course should complete their preparation with one text from Section Three.

Section One:

S. Costa, Il magnifico concerto e l’ordinato metodo / Collezionismo e musei d’Ancien Régime, Bologna, Bup, 2019.

S. Costa, M. L. Pagliani, Arte, Archeologia e Pubblico, Bologna, BUP, 2017

S. Costa, G. Perini Folesani (a cura di), I savi e gli ignoranti. Dialogo del pubblico con l'arte, Bologna, BUP, 2017.

Section Two:

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

P. Bourdieu, A. Darbel, L'amore dell'arte, le leggi della diffusione culturale: i musei d'arte europei e il loro pubblico, Rimini Guaraldi 1972 [titolo or. L'amour de l'art: les musées et leur public 1966].

S. Costa/P. Callegari/M. Pizzo, L’Italia dei Musei 1860-1960. Collezioni, Contesti, Casi di studio, Bologna, BUP, 2018.

F. Haskell, The ephemeral museum. Old master painting and the rise of the art exhibition, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2000. (trad it. La nascita delle mostre. I dipinti degli antichi maestri e l’origine delle esposizioni d’arte, Milano-Ginevra, Skira, 2008).

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

Section Three

M. T. Fiorio, Il museo nella storia, Milano-Torino, Bruno Mondatori, 2018.

M.C. Mazzi, In viaggio con le muse. Spazi e modelli del museo, Firenze, Edifir, 2005 (e ss. ed.). V.

Teaching methods


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

Due to the restrictions imposed by the current health emergency, this teaching activity will be carried out in the following manner:

Traditional method: the teacher will always be present personally in the indicated classroom during this teaching activity. The students will alternate their presence, according to a schedule of shifts being defined (more detailed information regarding the shifts and about the modalities to get access to the classroom lessons will be provided soon). It will always be possible to connect remotely and to follow live lessons via the online platform TEAMS.

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed during an interview: the final exam 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 the theoretical approaches to museology and the constantly evolving practical solutions proposed within the EU.

1. It will be marked 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 average 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; powerpoint slides and videos.

Office hours

See the website of Sandra Costa