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Great exhibitions: from the ancient to the virtual

Ten-week art history and theory course

Short course

11 October — 13 December 2017

This event has now ended

See upcoming short courses

Exhibition poster for Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Gallery, 1997.

© Design: Why Not Associates Photography: Rocco Redondo and Photodisc.

Andrea Tarsia, Head of Exhibitions returns to lead an international group of scholars to debate and discuss what makes an exhibition great and how great exhibitions can impact the way we view and understand art.

Following the highly successful course Great Exhibitions: From the 18th to the Future last year, Andrea Tarsia, Head of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Art, returns with a new group of topics and international speakers to explore some of the greatest exhibitions of all time and consider their make-up, context and impact.

“All the speakers were absolutely excellent. Each was master of his/her subject and gave us so much information in a way that put across the history, the protagonists, the events clearly, amusingly (often), interestingly so that each Wednesday evening one felt exhilarated by all that one had learnt and heard.”
Previous course participant, 2017

In its second year, The Great Exhibition course expands its scope to outline some early historical foundations for the notable exhibitions of the 19th and 20th century which also saw the birth of modern museums. The scope of the discussion is extended beyond the physical spaces of traditional exhibitions to those which are conceptual and truly ‘without walls’ to including digital and virtual environments.

With a new host of speakers and topics, this course provides a remarkable opportunity to learn about the history of exhibitions, exhibition-making and how art is viewed by different audiences, from leading scholars from across the art world.

“The speakers were all good communicators and very personable. I learnt a lot and found the whole experience very pleasurable. Great to meet new friends with common interests.”
Previous course participant, 2017

Alongside Andrea Tarsia, guest speakers will explore those exhibitions which have changed the way we see, display and understand art. Course participants will have the opportunity to debate and discuss what makes an exhibition great, the way it can change its context, the art historical narrative, define artists and movements and ultimately inform how we look at and understand art.

“Engaging, lively, illuminating. Definitely specialised but riveting.”
Previous course participant, 2017

Registration: 6.00pm
Course timings: 6.15pm - 8.15pm

Wednesday 11 October - Wednesday 8 November (Weeks 1-5)
From the roots of exhibition making in the ancient world and renaissance up to the mid-20th century

Wednesday 15 November - Wednesday 13 December (Weeks 6-10)
From the 20th century and beyond

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

11 October — 13 December 2017

The Life Room, Royal Academy Schools

£540 for full course, £320 for weeks 1-5 OR weeks 6-10. Includes all materials, light refreshments throughout and a drinks reception at the end of weeks 5 and 10.