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ART 215: Introduction to Museum Studies: Home

This guide provides resources and strategies for researching the form, content, and context of museum artworks.


This course guide was created to assist in researching artworks for the purpose of creating audio guides for a museum tour.

ART 215: Introduction to Museum Studies

Museums are more popular than ever before. This course, designed for students interested in museological practices and museum careers, will focus on art museums, but will also embrace history, anthropology, archeology and public administration, to examine the institutional and ethical dimensions of presenting culture in a dedicated space. It will introduce students to how museums operate, and explore critical issues of power, privilege and diversity. We will look at museum missions, collection practices, exhibition strategies, and audience appeal. With that in mind, we will examine the various ideologies at play in museums today, and the ethics of cultural representation and "ownership" of cultural artifacts. 


Develop an audio guide for the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. Research the artworks, write a script, record, and edit the audio guide. Depending on the artwork, research may include:  

  •  Form & Process: What does the artwork looks like? How it was made?
  •  Content: What is the subject matter of the artwork? Who or what is being depicted?  
  •  Context: What is the the larger historical or cultural context of the artwork? 

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Mike Olson
Cataloging & Discovery Librarian
Assistant Professor
113 Murphy Library