Our story begins here
As British artists Gilbert + George told uber curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, “To be with art is all we ask.” In Art History we study the dynamic history and theory of artistic practice and its reception across the globe. In an image saturated world, art history engages with the visual world and considers ways to understand how art objects, images and visual culture interrogate and reflect on the legacy of the past and the times in which we live.
In the expanded field of art curating, arts professionals, curators, and artists work across an ever-changing sector of traditional art galleries, contemporary art spaces, biennales, art fairs, festivals and beyond to present, display and interpret art of the past and art of tomorrow. Today a curator is an enabler, a collaborator, and a cultural agent working with objects, still and moving images, artists, cultures and communities, performance, installations and ephemeral radical ways of thinking about what art is and what is does.
Museum & Heritage Studies
Museum and Heritage Studies will equip you with a contextual understanding of core historical and theoretical developments in museum and heritage studies. You will learn the frameworks for managing collections and sites and develop a practical understanding of the modes of interpretation used in the museum and heritage sector. We examine how meaning is constructed in museums and at heritage sites through material objects, cultural practices, events and performances. We explore how publics engage with museum and heritage sites, including sites of trauma, commemoration and memorialisation and their role in urban and economic development. MHST is an interdisciplinary degree offered across the departments of art history and archaeology.
Film Studies opens us to other worlds and other ways of seeing. This major develops critical visual literacy, equips you with a range of skills for understanding and analysing cinema as a vital and yet everyday part of modern life and expands your knowledge of the social, cultural, aesthetic and political dimensions of cinema in different contexts and at different times.
Our academics are leading scholars in the fields of art history, curating and museum studies. In undergraduate studies we specialise in early modern global art, Islamic art, Asian art, Indigenous art, and the global modern to contemporary.
Our post-graduate degrees of Art Curating and Museum & Heritage Studies offer studies across theory and practice to prepare graduates for careers in art galleries, museums and the cultural and heritage sectors. Study arts of the world, design, visual and material culture, or curating, collection, exhibition, cultural and heritage management led by our internationally renowned scholars in public galleries and museums and contemporary art spaces across Sydney, in object-learning study rooms at the University’s own Chau Chak Wing Museum, Verge Gallery and Sydney College of the Arts Galleries, at biennales and art fairs, on location in cities like Berlin and Paris, and through our industry-led internships.
We also supervise higher degree research degrees such as a Master of Arts, MPhil or Doctorate. See the Department website for more information.