Cultural Heritage and Museum History in Rome
This course is no longer being offered.
This course uses the unparalleled richness of Rome's cultural institutions to trace the development of modern museums as we know them today. Through daily site visits to antique ruins, princely and papal collections, contemporary museums, a world's fair site and historic houses, students will discover how private collections became public displays. They will learn how cultural heritage, in the present as well as the past, is a politically fraught domain, and how power and ownership are critical elements in maintaining, preserving, and displaying art.
This course will introduce students to the unparalleled riches of Rome's great museums and cultural heritage sites. Following the premise that Rome itself is an Open-Air Museum, this class will consider exhibitions in their broadest sense and use on-site visits to gain a chronological overview of the art and cultural history of Rome, from antiquity to the present day. Through trips to sites as varied as ancient Roman ruins, the great 18th century palace collections of Roman nobility, the Vatican and Capitoline Museums, National collections of paintings and antiquities, a planned World's Fair site, the house museum of an American expatriate, a garden cemetery, and a cutting-edge contemporary art museum, students will discover how museums have played a significant role in the cultural and artistic history of Rome and gain a broader sense of the great range of museum types. Class discussions on power and politics, art collecting, cultural patrimony, Nationalist ideals and the preservation of cultural heritage will augment site visits and we will consider how certain collections, galleries and exhibition spaces have contributed to the image of Rome as the seat of Western civilization.
Students will gain a complete familiarity with the chronology of Western art history, with a focus on the Renaissance and its view of Antiquity, up to the present. Students will learn how museums were formed out of the Enlightenment interests of 15th and 16th century naturalist collectors and noble princes and understand that museums as we know them are essentially collections of ideas. By the end of the course, students will be well-prepared as cultural citizens, knowing how to read museum buildings, labels, exhibition displays, and museum histories as reflections of the social and historical periods in which they were created.
This course is only open to students enrolled in Pre-College Global Programs.
**When registering in Banner, students must enroll in one of the three core courses (CRN 10397 or 10398 or 10508) AND “Beginning Italian” (CRN 10370) AND one Humanities course option: “Italian Film: Art & History” (CRN 10399), “Digital Photography (CRN 10400), “Views of Rome: A Rome Sketchbook Course” (CRN 10512), or Six Degrees of Musical Separation (CRN 10506).