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A Century of Modern Dutch Sculpture in an International Perspective


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


The seminar aims to promote academic research about modern and contemporary international sculpture and its historiography, viewed as a cultural product anchored in society and closely related to other forms of visual art. Teaching and research will focus on placing the historiography of modern and contemporary sculpture in the Netherlands in an international perspective.

This seminar is the first in an interdisciplinary research project of 5 years that will result in an exhibition in the Beelden aan Zee Museum and a publication. The main goal is to write the history of a century of modern Dutch sculpture in an international perspective. The first window focusses on the public monument and its development (1850 – 2000). Statue-mania is characterised just as much by the agonising that precedes the festive unveiling and inevitably continues afterwards. In a sectarian, democratically organised and densely populated land such as ours, there is no shortage of grief. How have the sculptors of the twentieth century discharged their duties? What role has the government played? And what did the people think? And what did they really want?
In this course, all students develop case studies, addressing these kinds of questions.
Literature study is combined with lectures by invited sculptors; students should expect to present their case in class (e.q. in a Pecha Kucha presentation); to prepare a lecture discussion in connection with visiting artists; to write some text and to discuss each other’s work. A prepared visit to an exhibition or an artist’s studio is included in the course. A lot of discussion is encouraged. The focus is on modern sculpture, with occasional older examples.

Course objectives


  • to know developments, in contemporary examples as well as historical examples, in the use of materials connected with the meaning of a sculpture;

  • to know the sculptor’s views on material and meaning;

  • to know the sculptor’s role as an autonomous artist;

  • to know the sculptor’s role as an artist working on a commissioned monumental / public work;

  • to know the tension between authenticity, concept, material, technique, which translates in a sculpture and its form.


  • to present your case, or part of your case in a pecha kucha presentation;

  • to present your case in a traditional presentation, or discussion, in class;

  • to present your case standing next to the actual object (exhibition, museum Beelden aan Zee);

  • to prepare questions and a discussion in class, and to do the actual discussion itself with a visiting sculptor;

  • to write decent critical or historical texts;


The timetable is available on the Master Arts and Culture website

The seminar meetings will take place at the museum. More information will be made available through blackboard.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Research

  • Excursion

Attendance is compulsory. Students are allowed to miss a maximum of two seminars, provided they present a valid reason beforehand. Students who have missed more than two seminars will have to aply to the Examination Board of the Ma Arts and Culture in order to obtain permission to further follow and complete the course.

Course Load

  • Lectures / classes (26 hours)

  • Study of compulsory literature (70 hours)

  • Assignment(s): 1 paper (100 hours)

  • Other components: 1 Pecha Kucha introductory presentation (6,40 min.); 1 concluding presentation (30 min.) (84 hours)

Assessment method


  • Three papers, 5000 words each

  • Two small presentations

  • Literature exam


  • Three papers (40%)

  • Two small presentations (10%)

  • Literature exam (50%)

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Only for relevant component:

  • Writing a paper (50%)

  • Literature exam (50%)


  • Please note that if you do not hand in your essay before the first deadline, your essay will be considered as the resit.

  • For the time tables exams 2017-2018 see; Timetable

Exam Review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard is used for this course.

  • communication

  • assignments

  • more information

Reading list

  • P. Curtis, Sculpture 1900-1940, Oxford 1999;

  • A. Causey, Sculpture since 1945, Oxford 1998;

  • P. Curtis, Groundbreaker, London 2011.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable



Official course information is communicated in Blackboard.