Online event Course

Working in a Museum

Lorna Simpson, ‘Five Day Forecast’ 1991
Lorna Simpson, Five Day Forecast 1991. Tate. © Lorna Simpson, courtesy Salon 94, New York

Explore the role of the art museum through a range of perspectives

This module examines the historical development, contemporary status and future priorities of the art museum. Over ten sessions, at Tate Modern, the module considers the major activities undertaken by museums, how their conception and execution have evolved over the last 200 years, and how they sit within a broader social, political and cultural landscape.

Organised around a series of presentations by Tate staff on emerging programmes and practices, the course introduces and analyses key themes concerning the past, present and future directions of the art museum. Topics of discussion include collection strategies, curatorial methods, learning programmes, the impact of digital technology, and how institutions engage with a diverse range of publics.

Led by independent curator Nina Trivedi, participants will be encouraged to develop alternative models and priorities for art museums. What will the museum of the future look like? How will its policies and programmes change? Who will be its audiences and how will they engage with the museum?

A brief history of the art museum

  • Week 1: Mapping the Museum: Origins and Definitions
  • Week 2: Working with a Collection: Acquisition, Exhibition, Conservation
  • Week 3: The Politics of Space: Museum Architecture

Contemporary programme and practices

  • Week 4: The Changing Role of Curators
  • Week 5: Experiments in Learning
  • Reading week: Optional skill sharing workshop
  • Week 6: Funding the Museum: Dilemmas and Opportunities
  • Week 7: Artists and Institutions

Planning for the future

  • Week 8: New Modes of Engagement: Content, Communication, Participation
  • Week 9: Reimaging Audiences: The Role of Digital Technology
  • Week 10: Manifesto for a Museum of the Future

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus situation and continuing restrictions on in-gallery events, this course will now be offered online in closed video conferencing sessions for a limited number of participants. The greatest care has been taken to ensure that remote courses will provide the same content, quality and intended learning outcomes as in-person teaching.

If you are interested in joining the course but would like to know more about how this will work before signing up, please contact us at


Nina Trivedi

Nina Trivedi was awarded a BFA from Parsons School of Design and an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is currently completing a PhD at the Royal College of Art about Critical Race Studies and Feminist New Materialisms in New Media Installations. Nina teaches at The Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths and Syracuse University. She has recently produce a symposium for the Science Museum and prior public projects include those for MK Gallery and Tenderbooks. Nina is the managing editor for the Journal of Visual Culture and has published essays in exhibition catalogues for Whitechapel Gallery as well as a recent text for the Design Journal.

Organised in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London.

Online Event

In light of COVID-19 this course will now be online in closed video conferencing sessions for a limited number of participants


Every Monday at 14.00–17.00

18 January – 29 March 2021