fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Winter Quarter

Winter Registration Opens Nov 29
shopping cart icon0

Courses

« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

ARTH 218 — Plundered Art: The History and Ethics of Art Collection

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Feb 1—Mar 1
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 3
Unit: 1
Tuition: $320
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: This course has a different schedule than what appears in the print catalogue. The course will meet over 5 Tuesdays from February 1 - March 1.
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Winter
Live Online(About Formats)
Tuesdays
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Feb 1—Mar 1
5 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 3
1 Unit
Fees
$320
Instructor(s):
Patrick Hunt
Recording
Yes
Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: This course has a different schedule than what appears in the print catalogue. The course will meet over 5 Tuesdays from February 1 - March 1.
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In recent years, many leading museums have become embroiled in controversies centering on whether they have developed their antiquities collections unethically, if not illegally. Lawsuits and media reports have accused them essentially of plundering art, forcing the return of important objects in some cases. This course will focus on the ethics of art collecting and will offer historic examples of plundering from Nebuchadnezzar to the Nazis.

The theft of art is hardly a modern phenomenon. Verres, a greedy Roman governor of Sicily, illegally amassed astonishing stolen civic treasures. The Roman Emperor Nero robbed Pergamon of its most famous sculpture of the Hellenistic world, the Laocoön Group, and installed it in his notorious Golden House. The Venetian sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Conquistadores’ sack of Mexico and Peru in the 16th century, and French and British expeditions in Egypt and Mesopotamia all provide examples of a trend that lives on today. Perhaps the most notable recent example can be seen in the pillaging of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and other sacred Iraqi sites. Our cultural odyssey will be global in nature and will cover millennia of purloined treasures. We will also probe into a question vexing art collectors today: when can the dislocation of art be justified (for example, when the host country cannot preserve a priceless object) and when does it cross the line?

PATRICK HUNT
Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project; Research Associate, Archeoethnobotany, Institute of EthnoMedicine

Patrick Hunt is the author of twenty-four books and a lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. He explores junctions between many intersecting areas of interest across the broader humanities, sciences, and the arts. He received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Hunt is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, and he is an explorer and expeditions expert for National Geographic. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council. He is the author of Hannibal, Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History, Alpine Archaaelogy, and When Empires Clash: Twelve Great Battles in Antiquity.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.