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ARTH 194 — The Innovations of World-Class Museums: The Guggenheim, the Smithsonian, and Beyond

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Feb 1—Mar 15
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 14
Unit: 1
Tuition: $360
Instructor(s): Christina J. Hodge
Status: Open
7:00—8:50 pm
Feb 1—Mar 15
7 weeks
Drop By
Feb 14
1 Unit
Christina J. Hodge
Today’s great museums are breaking out of traditional paradigms, reinventing their institutions for the 21st century and beyond. They are modernizing and innovating across many fronts, from exhibitions to collections and even architecture. In this course, we will “visit” one of these grand institutions each week, exploring some of their most exciting and controversial projects. For example, we will study how the British Museum is leading an information revolution via its online interactive Museum of the World partnership with Google Cultural Institute. We will look at the Guggenheim’s attempts to bring the business concept of franchising to the world of museums by opening Guggenheims in Barcelona, Berlin, and Abu Dhabi.

Architecture and design will be our focus as we study the Smithsonian’s newest museums, which reject generic facades and plain white gallery walls in order to evoke the architecture, history, and culture of the communities they showcase. Along the way, we will consider how museums leverage their pasts to reinvent their futures as artistic repositories, engines of expression, sites of memory and emotion, and centers for political change.

Guest lectures and class discussion will enhance the classroom experience. This course will enrich students’ experiences as museumgoers and impart a new understanding of the powerful ways museum innovations both reflect and transform our world.

This course includes two field trips to SFMOMA and the Cantor Arts Center. Ticket cost and transportation will be the responsibility of the student. Please see the preliminary syllabus for more information.

Christina J. Hodge, Academic Curator and Collections Manager, Stanford University Archaeology Collections (SUAC)

Christina J. Hodge leads operations and planning at SUAC and teaches museum exhibition for the Stanford Archaeology Center. Previously, she worked in curation, curricular engagement, and outreach at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. She received an MA in archaeological heritage management and a PhD in historical archaeology from Boston University.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Marjorie Schwarzer, Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America (ISBN 978-1933253756)