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Continuing Education - Professional Certificate Programs

Museum Studies: Course Descriptions

old European museum sign on wall About the Certificate Program (main)
Course Descriptions (all)
Academic-Year Courses (Fall, Spring)
About the Instructors


Note: The posted syllabi are not necessarily updated for the semester or the latest version. Students should verify book requirements with the instructor.

Museum History and Fundamentals
Explore the history of the major types of museums and the current issues and ethical challenges they encounter today. Understand how the primary public mission is established and interpreted. Discover how community inclusion is achieved and diversity is accomplished. Syllabus

Contemporary Museum Management
Gain an understanding of the organization, governance, and management of museums. Explore the role of the board of directors, museum president or director, and staff and volunteers. Delve into the principles and practices of planning asset acquisition, collections management, and exhibits. Contemporary issues and challenges, such as financing future acquisitions, shrinking public funding, and competition for leisure time, are discussed.

The Essentials of Art History
Gain an understanding of the art and architecture of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and medieval Europe, presented in terms of their visual and cultural significance. Explore the history of Western art and national 17th- and 18th-century styles in France and England. Nineteenth-century styles and modernism and 20th-century art developments are also covered.
Students with a BA or minor in art history may take The Successful Museum Board instead of The Essentials of Art History.

Museum Education
Investigate education and learning in museums and examine the principal activities in planning and implementing educational experiences for museum visitors. Consider the roles of museum educators and the principles of informal learning. Learn how museums use strategies to assess learning interests for potential audiences and include technology in museum learning. Includes interaction with Neuberger Museum education staff.

Museum Exhibits
Study the components of a successful museum exhibition, whether permanent or temporary. Gain an understanding of the process of developing an exhibit from the concept, research, and conservation to publications, design, lighting, budget, loans, advertising, sponsorship, education, and visitor satisfaction. Experts in the field will provide specialized lectures. Trips to corporate, personal, and museum collections are included.


Successful Museum and Nonprofit Boards
Understand what constitutes a successful museum board. Investigate the importance of a shared vision, agreement on priorities, public good, monetary support, and defined roles. Learn how the most successful boards identify and measure institutional success. Whether a museum employee or board member, acquire the tools to make the most of working with or being on a museum board.

Introduction to Art History
Students study a broad range of art (e.g., painting, sculpture, architecture) from antiquity to the present. Lectures focus on works of art and their relationship to their historical and social context. This course is intended for students with little or no background in art history. Students cannot receive credit for this course and ARH 1010 or ARH 1020. Closed to Purchase College art history majors.
ARH1500 / noncredit option

Introduction to Modern Art
The work of Courbet, Manet, and the circle of the Impressionists sets the stage for the revolutionary modern movements of the 20th century (e.g., Cubism, Expressionism, Dada, Surrealism). The course concludes with those artists who came to prominence in America at the time of World War II.
ARH2500 / noncredit option

Contemporary Art
The first distinctly American modern movement in art, Abstract Expressionism, burst onto the international scene around 1950. American artists then pioneered the major movements of Pop art, photorealism, earth art, and minimalism, while simultaneously participating in the more international developments: happenings, environments, conceptualism, neo-expressionism, and new figuration. Students explore the multiple directions in American and European art from 1945 to the present.
ARH3121 / noncredit option

American Art
A study of American painting and sculpture from colonial times to the present, focusing on American contributions to romanticism, realism, impressionism, abstraction, Pop art, and postmodernism. Lectures also cover African American art, Latino American art, and Jewish artists as part of this opportunity to learn about American history through art.
ARH3180 / noncredit option

The simultaneous development of various painters associated with Impressionism (e.g., Monet, Renoir, Morisot, Pissarro, Manet, Degas, Cassatt) is presented. This radical new art movement is traced from the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874 to the last exhibition of 1886 and the appearance of the post-Impressionists. Students explore the shared relationships of the Impressionist artists.
ARH3455 / noncredit option

Realism in Art
Various artists from the 17th century to the present have worked in a style that can be termed realist. This course explores the definition of realism in art and examines why these artists chose to work in an empirical style. How do their styles differ, and what does their work tell us about the societies in which they lived? Students choose and place in social context a 20th-century or contemporary realist to discover how the meaning of realism has evolved over the centuries.
/ noncredit option

Updated April 13, 2016

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