Curating Now

Module code: MU7004

Module co-ordinator: Dr Stacy Boldrick

Curating Now brings the expert (discussed in Becoming Expert) into the institution and considers how the curator can creatively engage in producing art experiences both with contemporary art and historical collections. Indeed, might the curate unite these two separate art worlds through her actions? Or perhaps she will throw them into conflict?

Here we look at monographic exhibitions with their possibilities for new commissions and retrospective selection. We also examine group exhibitions based around ideas and themes. We will explore public projects, temporary and travelling exhibitions and the different roles institutions, curators and artists play in these. Curatorial engagement with artists – such as artist as curator, artist as maker, artists and social engagement, and so on – is an important aspect of the module.

This module considers the challenges of proposal writing, exhibitions research, of working with different media and considering the ethical implications of curating. Our aim with this module is to discuss curating as it is practised now and to inclusively consider both the contemporary and the historic. We also look more generally at communication theory, learning, evaluation and programming.

Topics covered

  • The stages of curating
  • Exhibition form and style: from monographic to group show
  • Exhibition planning and making, and the selection of works
  • Text and interpretation
  • Critical reflection
  • Critical practice
  • Exhibitions, learning, communication, evaluation and programming


  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 7 hours of seminars
  • 20 hours of practicals and workshops
  • 8 hours of study visits


  • 2000 word, or equivalent, assignment. The style of assignment is different for each module and includes essays, critical reviews, art journalism, reports, portfolios, oral examinations and so on.