Tate Modern Course

The Art Museum: Past, Present, Future

Andrea Fraser, ‘Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk’ 1989
Andrea Fraser, Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk 1989. Tate. © Andrea Fraser; courtesy Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin

Discuss the past, present and future of the art museum

This module examines the historical development, contemporary status and future priorities of the art museum. Over ten sessions, held at Tate Modern and Tate Britain, 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, this course will critically engage with reflections on past and existing institutional models and will investigate what practical steps towards creating new approaches might look like.

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 Programmes and Practices

Week 4: The Changing Role of Curators

Week 5: Experiments in Learning

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

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​.

Tate Modern

Clore Studio

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit


Every Thursday at 14.00–17.00

17 January – 28 March 2019

Please note the sessions on 31 January and 7 March will be held in the Clore Studio at Tate Britain.