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Curating and Exhibition Management Short Course

Key information

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The Curating and Exhibition Management short course introduces and analyses key issues concerning the development and successful execution of exhibitions and is organised around a series of unique presentations and site visits delivered by the course tutor.

Why choose this course?

Exhibitions are core activities in museums and art galleries. The curation of museum collections and contemporary art in combination with important international loans offer varying presentations of artworks by a solo artist, a group of artists, one genre, one theme, or a particular collection.

Exhibitions are conceived by curators and organised in collaboration with exhibition organisers and exhibition registrars.

Our Curating and Exhibition Management short course is delivered over 10 weeks and is ideal for anyone looking for maximum flexibility combined with expert tuition.

Students will learn how to engage within the industry to better prepare and equip themselves with the professional skills needed to develop and manage successful exhibitions to embark on an exciting career in Exhibition Management

Taught in the evening in central London, this curating and Exhibition Management evening course is designed for individuals interested in working in this area or who may have attended the The Business of the Visual Arts course.

Course overview

The Curating and Exhibition Management short course provides an insight into the development and delivery of balanced exhibitions.

We will explore current curatorial practice, programming and audiences in presenting commercial and academic exhibitions along with legal and practical aspects.

Sessions include presentations by the course leader, guest lecturers from the industry who will speak about current curatorial practices and a number of field trips to innovative visual art venues.

  • “ I have learnt a lot of things I didn´t know before and I have made very good friends too. ”

    Mariangel Soler Alonso-Genis

    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

You will acquire an understanding of the complexities, stakeholders and schedules involved in managing and executing exhibitions. In addition, pitfalls and how they can be overcome to avoid negative outcomes are considered and discussed.

This pathway offers nuts and bolts experiences to progress your knowledge and prepare you should you contemplate pursuing a career in this professional environment.

The Curating and Exhibition Management short course will cover current issues including, but not limited to:

  • Beyond the White Cube – philosophy, curation, audiences, programming in private institutions & commercial galleries
  • Curating an art auction, guest speaker
  • Art criticism,  guest speaker
  • Field trip to a private art foundation, tbc
  • Exhibitions Management, part 1 - Budgets, cost sharing, artwork selection, communication, agreements, documentation
  • Exhibitions Management, part 2 - Logistics, insurance, invitations, press release and social media
  • Exhibitions Management, part 3 - H&S, condition reports, Health & Safety, installation and display
  • Field trip to public institution, tbc
  • Working with the media, guest speaker
  • Presentation of agreed course assignment

Field trips will take place on Saturday afternoons.



Prerequisite knowledge

You should have a sincere interest in curating and exhibition management.

English requirements

You must have a comprehensive command of both written and spoken English.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

You will be assessed through informal assessment activities such as group discussions, presentations and essays.

You will also be expected to deliver a comprehensive presentation covering curation and exhibition management as agreed with the course tutor.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

This bibliography is grouped under relevant topics. During the course you should read at least one of the references for at least one or two topics. Basic references with which you should be familiar by the end of the course Art Newspaper, Artist Newsletter, Museum Practice, Museums Journal, are available online.

Curation & Exhibition Management

B. O'doherty, 2000, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space, University of California Press.
G. Adamson (Contributor), P. Antonelli, (Contributor), & 7more, 2007. What Makes a Great Exhibition? University of the Arts, Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, USA.
K. Clark, 1979, What is a Masterpiece, Thames & Hudson.
D. Duffin, Organising your Exhibition, AN Publication.
H. Gombrich, 1960, Art and Illusion, Phaidon Press.
A. Hauser, 1962, The social History of Art, Routledge & Kegan Paul.
H. U. Obrist, 2014, Ways of Curating, Allen Lane.
H. U. Obrist, 2011, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Curating But Were Afraid to Ask, Sternberg Press.
N. Serota, 1996, Experience or Interpretation. The Dilemma of Museums of Modern Art, Thames and Hudson.
Thompson, JMA (ed), 1992, Manual of Curatorship, 2nd edition. Butterworth, London.

Legal Issues

S. Simon, 2003, Art and Copyright, Hart Publishing, Oxford and Portland, Oregon.
McClean and Schubert, 2002, Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture, Ridinghouse.
N. Sharp, 1992, Visual Arts Contracts, Introduction, AN Publication.
N. Sharp, 1996, Visual Arts Contracts, Galleries, Dealers and Agents, AN Publication.

Marketing & Sponsorship

V. Head, 1981, Successful Sponsorship, Institute of Directors.
R. Hill, S. O'Sullivan, T. O'Sullivan, 1995, Creative Arts Marketing, Butterworth and Heinemann Publication.
S. Jones, Fundraising, AN Publication.

Tutor information

  • Renée Pfister

    Renée Pfister has built an esteemed and longstanding career as a consultant, curator, registrar and business development manager in the art world.

    She was part of the curatorial team at the British Museum where she was involved in realising major projects such as the Great Court and the Weston Gallery of Roman-Britain.

    At the Tate Gallery she worked as a Registrar from 1999 to 2005 and was responsible for managing acquisitions and ground-breaking international exhibitions from the Tate’s collection.

    She also participated in a Registrars’ exchange programme at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, wrote a chapter for the Routledge publication ‘Understanding International Art Markets & Management’ and worked for the late Sir Anthony Caro as an advisor.

    Since 2010 she has run her own art and gallery consultancy. She offers support to gallery owners new in the business and career mentoring services to emerging and mid-career artists.

    In addition, she teaches at City, University of London, Lancaster University, South London Arts Forum and Sotheby’s Institute of Art.