MA Art History and Curating student Lina recommends three things to read or listen to before starting a degree in MA History of Art or MA Art History and Curating

Lina, MA Art History and Curating student

You would be surprised how many applicants for a master’s degree in Art History/Curating come from various academic backgrounds, such as history, literature, or philosophy! While this variation doesn’t pose a barrier to studying Art History, it’s natural to feel uncertain if you lack experience or preparation in this field.

If you’re thinking about applying for this programme but are still unsure or simply want to get ready before the academic year begins, this post is for you.

My name is Lina, and I will share some of my recommendations regarding things to read and listen to before starting your MA in Art History/Curating.

The Golovine – the department blog for Art History, Curating and Visual Studies

In our department, we embrace various approaches to art. While some prefer the object-based approach, others focus on exhibition historiography or museum studies. To better understand how these diverse approaches to describing and interpreting art work in practice, it’s worth checking out our blog, The Golovine.

Our blog features contributions from students at every level of their studies as well as department staff. You’ll find a wide range of content, from thought-provoking essays to artist interviews and exhibition reviews.

Reading a few of our posts will give you insight into how to write about art and also allow you to get to know our small department from the inside. Interestingly, you’ll also find content related to students’ internship and volunteer experiences, which may interest you later in the academic year.

Barber Institute of Fine Art gallery

Tuesday Talks – online talks by the University’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts gallery

For those of you with a keen interest in curating, you’ll understand the importance of not only writing about art but also effectively narrating it to the public in an engaging and accessible manner. This skill is vital for curators and engagement officers alike, and it’s one you’ll master during your studies.

To get started, I recommend exploring the series of online talks hosted by students, guests, and staff at The Barber Institute. These discussions delve into artworks from our on-campus museum’s collection, offering valuable insights into various techniques and methods for analysing and interpreting art.

The Tuesday Talks series serves as an excellent example of how to articulate thoughts on art and create compelling content within museum settings, which is a key focus of the curating programme.

Group of students working at laptops and talking to each other

Midlands Arts Papers – online journal

Midlands Art Papers (MAP) is a joint project between our department and regional artistic institutions, aimed at exploring and delving into the art of public collections. The journal addresses topics such as migration experiences, art accessibility, and decolonising museums.

MAP’s articles foster a dialogue between the academic world and museums, theory and practice. That is why MAP is an excellent reference point for students interested in both art writing and self-aware curatorial techniques. It’s also a great platform for idea sharing and getting to know the staff and their areas of interests.