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Cultures of Exhibiting


Admission requirements

There are no additional requirements.

This course has replaced the course Curating Cultures (2022-2023).


This course focusses on the concept and history of exhibiting: the collecting and display of, as well as the caring, for researching and interpreting of (cultural) objects. Objects from culture and nature, artworks, material and immaterial heritage, are all kept in museums and collections. They are taken care of but they are also displayed, and this can happen and has happened in innumerable ways: in exhibitions, different displays of the permanent collection, dioramas, temporary displays, workshops, websites, etc. These displays all communicate something, a certain message, underlying ideas and concepts, narratives, and canons.

What then is an exhibition and what are the exhibition agents? What is a curator? What role does the curator play and what is the role of the audience(s)? In this course we will study the past and recent practices of exhibiting, ways of displaying and curatorial practices, narratives and canon formation. Introductions into relevant theories and practices will alternate with in-depth case-studies.

Keywords: curating / curator / objects / exhibitions / display / audiences

Course objectives

  • Students acquire general knowledge about curating practices including the role of the curator, the object and the audience.

  • Students acquire a basic understanding of relevant theories in the field of curating/exhibition display.

  • Students acquire a basic understanding of underlying exhibiting structures, narratives and canon formation.

  • Students gain insight into how exhibitions and displays are created (selection processes, technical and practical conditions).

  • Students gain insight into historical and contemporary art practices on the basis of the case-studies.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • Mid term assignment (written)

  • Final exam (written)


  • Mid term assignment (written): 40% of final grade.

  • Final exam (written): 60% of final grade.

The average of the mid term and the final exam has to be a 6.0 or higher (rounded off to one decimal point) in order to pass the course. Grades below 5.0 for either the assignment or the exam are not permitted and always requires a resit. A grade between 5.0 and 5.5 can be compensated by the other grade.


A resit/ rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. As far as applicable all resits/ rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

Inspection and feedback

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.

Reading list

  • E. Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture. London / New York: Routledge, 2005. Students can purchase the most recent edition of this book.

  • Further readings will be made available on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.
For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal