Online event Course

Working in a Museum: Behind the Scenes

Elliot Erwitt, ‘Tate Gallery, London’ 1993
Elliot Erwitt, Tate Gallery, London 1993. Tate. © Elliot Erwitt / Magnum

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

This course examines the historical development, contemporary status and future priorities of the art museum. Over ten taught sessions you will consider the major activities undertaken by museums.

Learn about Tate's key programmes and activities, from curatorial and collection practices, new business models and tackling the climate emergency, through to the role of digital technologies in reaching diverse global audiences. Explore the evolution of museums over the last 200 years, considering their role within the broader contemporary 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.

Participants will be encouraged by the tutor 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?

No prior knowledge of art history or museum studies necessary. Participants will be joined by MA students from the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, this course will 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.

In partnership with the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London. 

17 January, Week 1: The Museum as a Crime Scene: Origins, Colonialism and Capital

24 January, Week 2: What is an Art Worker? Labour and the Art Museum

31 January, Week 3: Funding the Museum: Following the Money and Mapping Structures

7 February, Week 4: Working with a Collection: Acquisition, Exhibition, Conservation

14 February, Week 5: The Changing Role of Curators and Artists

21 February: Break for KCL Reading Week

28 February, Week 6: Experiments in Learning and Outreach Audiences

7 March, Week 7: Sustainability and the Museum

14 March, Week 8: Institutional Governance: Problems and Possibilities

21 March, Week 9: New Models for the decolonised museum: Space, Content and Involvement

28 March, Week 10: Manifesto for a Museum of the Future

Please note, above weekly themes and order of sessions may be subject to change due to speaker availability.

Kevin Biderman is an educator, theorist, and artist, currently working as a Senior Lecturer in the Art and Media Department at the University of Brighton. He holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art and masters from University College London. His teaching experience includes: Critical and Historical Studies at the Royal College of Art and film-making at Goldsmiths alongside further and community education. Kevin has a socially engaged practice and works with activist groups and unions.

Online Event

A link to join the course will be sent by email in January


Every Monday at 14.00–17.00

17 January – 29 March 2022