Course Title: Let's Look at Museums (Study Tour tr Paris and Nice)

Part A: Course Overview

Course ID: 015353

Course Title: Let's Look at Museums (Study Tour tr Paris and Nice)

Credit Points: 6

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Creative Media


Course Coordinator: Alex Syndikas

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3805

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no pre-requisites for this course

Course Description

This international study tour is to provide you with an exciting alternative to traditional classroom base learning. It will provide you with first hand experience of the shaping of knowledge through the function of Museums in today’s society.

The course encourages you to develop oral skills for the discussion of visual forms as well as develop skills in essay writing relevant to the discipline. You will be given the opportunity to work in teams and select an area of study relevant to the course as their assessment project. Further discussions will also be conducted throughout the study tour and will lead to problem solving, debate and presentation of a well-researched response.

Whilst in France, the tour will visit a number of major museums and will include tutorials by the team leader on issues related to contemporary museum design, collection management, rotation of exhibits and showcases. You will have the opportunity to observe how museums are actively reorganizing their spaces in order to present themselves as environments for self-directed learning based on experiences. This critical review of past and current practices and theories will provide a valuable source of reference to you for it shows how context has determined the interpretation of objects.

Check the following web site for more information and date of departure:

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

After successful completion of this study tour, you will have:

• better understanding towards the function of museums today and become a more critical observer of works of art,
• an appreciation of world renowned museums, monuments, famous landmarks and ultra contemporary architectural buildings in both Paris and Nice,
• engage constructively in discussions with ethical and theoretical concerns in cleaning, restoration and conservation of works of art,
• an opportunity to follow the paths where some of the great artists lived and worked.

The learning outcomes for this study tour will be-

•develop a better understanding towards the function of museums today and become a more critical observer of works of art,

•engage constructively in discussions with museum conservators on the ethical and theoretical concerns of cleaning, restoration interpretation of works of art,

•Identifying the materials and techniques used in painting, sculpture and ‘works on paper’.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning methods utilized during this study tour will be:

• initial class activities based on past and current practices of major museums,

• whilst on tour in France, daily visits to museums and presentations by authoritative members within the museum establishment,

• group participation, debates and discussions to enable each student to contribute and share his/ hers experiences and resources,

• Support material gathered from the museum visits,
• workshops, readings and informed observations by the tour leader.

Overview of Learning Resources

Selected Recommended Reading:

Alexander, E.P Museum masters: their museums and their influence. American Assoc. for State and Local History. 1983.
Baylor, Jean-Noel Beaux-Arts Magazine: The Louvre, 1990.
Electa Moniteur. Milan-Paris. 1989.
Bresc-Bautier, G The Architecture of the Louvre: Thames & Hudson. London, 1995.
Davis, Douglas The Museum Transformed. Abbeville Press. Pub. N.Y. 1990.
Hooper-Greenhill, E Museums and the shaping of Knowledge. Routledge. N.Y.1995.
Jenger, Jean. Orsay, the Metamorphosis of a monument. Electa Moniteur. Paris 1987.
Jodidio, Philip Matisse, Musee De Nice. Connaissance Des Arts. Paris 1994.
Miles, R & Zavala, L Towards the Museum of the Future. Routledge. London.1994.
Steel, James Museum Builders. Academy Ed. Ernst & Sohn. London. 1994
Vergo, Peter The New Museology. Reaktion. London.1989.
Wiseman, Carter. I.M.Pei - A Profile in American Architecture. Harry N.Abrams, Inc. New York. 1990.

Documentary Television Programs:

Relative Values, BBC. The Last Picture Show: 1991.
Relative Values, BBC. Keeping with the Medici. 1991
Gae Aulenti, ULF Interscience Film. Heidelberg. 1991.
Les Films D’Ici, A Museum in Time: 1993.Canal + Le Musee du Louvre

Overview of Assessment

The requirements of this course are that the student completes two types of assessment:

Museum assignment & Class presentation – 100%

During the course of the subject you will team up with another member from the class to practice the application of the principles they have learnt by applying them to a museum task. The two of you will be required to maintain a Journal to record all observations and thoughts gathered from discussions, tutorials, readings and workshops.

For this task the two of you will be required to select one of the museums visited and prepare a detailed account of its philosophy, architecture, acquisition policies, issues involving - conservation, cleaning and restoration, how works of art are displayed and organized together with critiques on the collection and how effective is the museum in dealing with accessibility and museum management. All this should be handed in as part of the museum assessment. (Equivalent to 1500 words.)

The outcomes of the assignment will be presented in class.

Result/Grading Numerical Mark
HD (High Distinction) 80-100
DI (Distinction) 70-79
CR (Credit) 60-69
PA (Pass) 50-59
NN (Fail) 0-49