Course Description

460.618 - Museum Controversies: Ethical Issues in Museums

Museum directors, curators, and other staffers have faced an array of political and ethical dilemmas in an increasingly contentious environment. This course explores the historical, political, and cultural backgrounds to controversies surrounding exhibitions such as the Smithsonian's display of the Enola Gay, the Brooklyn Museum of Art's "Sensation," the British Museum's Elgin Marbles, and the showing of illegally acquired antiquities at various art museums. Nationalism, religious beliefs, obscenity, and "edutainment" are among the issues discussed.