10898 - Museography and Museum Techniques

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Luca Ciancabilla

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-ART/04

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Ravenna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Cultural Heritage (cod. 9076)

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

This course aims to provide the basic knowledge of museography and museum set up, both in a historical-theoretical perspective and in a technical-practical perspective. At the end of the course the student will be able to move forward in the field of conservation and management of historical and artistic heritage with full awareness of the museum models used in the West.

Course contents

Just over two centuries ago, Carlo Fea, the Papal State's Commissioner of Antiquities wrote a letter to Pope Pius VII, asking for the return of the ancient sculptures and Renaissance paintings that had been brought to Paris by the French army in 1797, then retrieved by Antonio Canova after Waterloo. Fea pleaded to get them back to their rightful owners with the return to their original location. “E' per Roma una falsa massima voler ridurre tutte le belle coe pubbliche in un museo o in una galleria(...) Tutta Roma è e deve essere una galleria", was the intention of Fea, which did not grasp the need of the Church to deal with his present and the contemporaneity and with one of its new cultural tools: the museum. Refusing to exhibit those alterpieces in the Vatican Museums, such as Raphael's Transfiguration,- which had made Rome a diffused museum since the 18th century- would have been counterproductive. Today we are faced with the same problem as back then: whether or not to keep a work of art and why and for what reasons to keep it in one place rather than another. Take into consideration of what happens when antique pictorial and sculptural masterpieces situated in outdoor sites get replaced by copies in order to safeguard them and disregarding their context of origin and function. In or out? A question posed by Carlo Giulio Argan at the time of the admission of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in the rooms of the Capitoline Museums, immediately replaced by a copy - not a fake - realized in plastic. A question we will try to answer starting from the facts that marked the musealiization in London of the Parthenon marbles, up to affair, of very topical relevance, that in the last years have also been affecting various examples of Graffiti and Urban art, which have also received unexpected attention from the public and private museums similar to the oldest part of our cultural heritage. Operations strictly related to new museum criteria and techniques must take into account the interaction between the new exhibition tools, museum spaces, and museum set up. On other words, these standards are subject to the laws and evolution of museography and museum technology.



G. C: ARGAN, Museologia e museografia in M. GARBERI, A. PIVA (a cura di), L'opera d'arte e lo spazio architettonico, Milano, Mazzotta 1988, pp. 131-136; S. RANELLUCCI, Museum. Trattato di museografia, Roma, Gangemi, 2016; M. L. M. GAVAZZOLA, Manuale di museologia, Milano, Rizzoli, 2011, pp. 1-8; F. MANOLI, Manuale di gestione e cura delle collezioni museali, Milano, Mondadori, 2015

Different theme in deepining for the istitutional course:

A. LUGLI, Museologia, Milano, Jaca Book, 1992; F. MINISSI, Museografia, Bonsignori, Roma, 1992; A. PASETTI, Luce e spazio nel museo d'arte. Architettura e illuminazione, Edifir, Firenze 1999, pp. 7-25, 35-48, 67-77, 95-103; C. TOSCO, I beni culturali: storia, tutela e valorizzazione, Il Mulino, Bologna 2004; M. C. MAZZI, In viaggio con le Muse, Spazi e modelli del museo, Edifir, Firenze, 2008; P. DRAGONI, Processo al museo. Sessant'anni di dibattito sulla valorizzazione del patrimonio in Italia, Edifir, Firenze, 2010;


G. C. ARGAN, Dentro o fuori? in Marco Aurelio. Storia di un monumento e del suo restauro, Pizzi, Milano 1989,a cura di A. MELUCCO VACCARO, A. MURA SOMMELLA, pp. 13-14; J. W. POPE_HENNESSY, La conservazione delle sculture all'aperto e L. DOLCINI, "Per cagione della intemperanza dell'aria": copie e sostituzioni di sculture a Firenze dall'Ottocento ad oggi in A. Giusti (a cura di), Sculture da conservare. Studi per una tecnologia dei calchi, Edifir, Firenze, 1990, pp. 10-11 e 14-87; a book between A. GIUSTI, Il caso Orsanmichele in M. L. MASETTI BITELLI, M. CUOGHI COSTANTINI, (a cura di), Ripristino architettonico, Nardini, Firenze, 1999, pp. 55-67 and T. VERDON, Museologia e valori: Il nuovo Museo dell'Opera del Duomo di Firenze in "Arte cristiana", vol. 106, fasc. 907, 2018, pp. 244-257; C. BRANDI, Museografia, mostre e restauro in Atti del convegno tra soci sul tema problemi della tutela del patrimonio artistico, storico, bibliografico e paesistico, Accademia dei Lincei, Roma 1970, pp. 77-92; a book between M. C. MAZZI, Museografia come restauro preventivo in M. ANDALORO (a cura di), La teoria del restauro nel Novecento da Riegl a Brandi, Nardini, Firenze, 2006, pp. 199-213; M. B. FAILLA, Cultura del restauro e ordinamenti museali in La cultura del restauro: modelli di ricezione per la museologia e la storia dell'arte, a cura di M. B. FAILLA, S. A. MEYER, C. PIVA, S. VENTRA, Roma, pp. 269-278; L. CIANCABILLA, Fotografare o musealizzare l’Urban Art: il “grigio” di Blu e la sua nemesi in L. CIANCABILLA, G. L. TUSINI, Oltre il grigio. Conservare, musealizzare e restaurare l’Arte Urbana fra tradizione e memoria, (atti del convegno, Bologna 31 maggio 2018), Bologna 2019, pp. 75-102

Different theme in deepining for the mographic course:

V. FARINELLA, S. PANICHI, L'eco dei marmi. Il Partenone a Londra: un nuovo canone della classicità, Donzelli editore, Roma 2003; P. D'ALCONZO, L'anello del re. Tutela del patrimonio storico artistico nel Regno di Napoli, Edifir, Firenze, 1999; U. GELLI; Musei interrotti: Brandi (e Minissi) in Puglia, San Cesario di Lecce, Manni, 2015

This general bibliography, shall be discussed with the teacher during the first lessons. For the students that don't attend the course, they have to ask to the teacher using the mail Luca.ciancabilla@unibo.it or booking an appointment with the teacher during the office hours.

Teaching methods

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.

This course involves the use of slides through which students will be introduced to the visual knowledge of works of art and museum set-up, continuously referring to and comparing theory and practice. As one of the purposes of this course is getting used to the direct visual examination of the museum space the thirty-hour visits to museums, sacred buildings, public and private collections.

Assessment methods

Oral examination on the institutional and monograph parts, including the use of images. A brief dissertation about the subjects discussed during the course. Students will be required to take notes and learn about the topics discussed during the lessons.

The result of the exam will be: insufficient in case of linguistic and expressive deficiencies, as well as of missed or erroneous comment to the texts; sufficient in case of correct linguistic expression, possession of basic historic and artistic knowledges and understanding of subject in its chronological development; good in case of correct linguistic expression and knowledge of the texts and authors; excellent in case of excellent expressive ability, and in-depth knowledge of the texts and authors.

Teaching tools

  • Color/black and white slides
  • Visits to museums, public and private collections
  • Meetings with experts of the subject (Directors of museums and collections, curators of exhibition)

Office hours

See the website of Luca Ciancabilla