Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit offers an introduction to the world of collecting and curating art from historical, theoretical and practice-based perspectives. The evolution of modern-day museums and art galleries is traced to the early modern 'chamber of wonders' and the establishment of large national institutions, starting with the British Museum in the mid-eighteenth century. Key themes include how gallery displays reinforce the public's perception of canons of art or how they suggest the boundaries between fine art and ethnography? And what particular issues do Australian collections face today? In addition, students receive an introduction to aspect of collection management, from acquisition policies or exhibition design to museum education programs. Students receive the opportunity to label and hang objects in a model room, to critically explore aspects of current museological practice and to carry out research on these. Site visits to museums (including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery or the Berndt Museum of Anthropology) and other local collections constitute a major element of this unit, affording students a ‘look behind the scenes' and the possibility to acquire basic object handling skills.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Fine Arts; History of Art major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) address issues of display, dissemination and museology in interpreting art; (2) have an understanding of historical and cultural contexts of collecting and its impact on the history of art; (3) demonstrate oral communication and interpersonal skills; (4) synthesise visual and aesthetic analyses into broader discourses of collecting and curating; and (5) apply principles of argument in art historical discourse.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short essay; (2) long essay; and (3) oral assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Susanne Meurer
Unit rules
HART1000 Great Moments in Art (formerly VISA1000)
or HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
VISA2274 Introduction to Museum and Curatorial Studies
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.