Curating and the Psychology of Perception are very closely interlinked. In organisation of exhibitions, museum and gallery work, viewer’s sensory and immersive experience are of great importance. Yet, psychologists and curators rarely discuss the influence of colours and arrangements of works of art on the viewer. This course aims to fill this gap.

October 1, 2024 (start)

Length: 7 sessions of 1.5 hrs, over 7 weeks.

Times: Evenings 6-7:30 (UK time) — to make it easier for people in many countries to take the course.

 

Curating and the Psychology of Perception are very closely interlinked. In the organisation of exhibitions, museums and galleries, the viewer’s sensory and immersive experiences are of great importance. Yet, psychologists and curators rarely discuss the influence of colours and arrangements of works of art on the viewer. This course aims to fill this gap.

 

Combining lectures on the history of the most important exhibitions of modern art with the psychology of perception, this course aims to answer the following questions:

  • What makes exhibitions and gallery displays memorable and atmospheric, and how do sensation and perception play as much of a role in this as the information and stories we interpret on panels and labels?
  • In curating, museum, and gallery work, we increasingly hear about sensory and immersive experiences, but what does this mean in practice?
  • What are the functions and interplays of taste, smell, sound, touch and sight?

The course begins with an introduction to psychological and art historical perspectives on the topic of curation. You will be invited to bring your own questions to these diverse perspectives. We’ll then address three broad themes in a series of paired lectures:

  1. We’ll begin by looking at seminal exhibitions of the 19th century and consider audience responses to artworks of this era, drawing on theory in the psychology of perception and considering the role of colour, light and form.
  2. We’ll consider the evolution of curatorial practice to more independent, intimate spaces and examine the role of the gallery context on responses to artworks and how curatorial principles shape audience experience.
  3. We’ll conclude by exploring the historical role played by specific art collectors and consider the ways in which individual differences between different audience groups shape our experience with art and how curatorial choices maintain the relevance of historical periods of art in the present day.

In the final session, you are invited to rise and discuss any ideas and thoughts that have come up throughout the course, and the course leader will reflect on their own understanding of art historical and psychological perspectives on curating.

This course previously ran as part of the rich portfolio of AIR interdisciplinary courses at Goldsmiths, University of London. We are pleased that we will now run this course from TechnoTruth.

We look forward to welcoming you to the course.

Tutor information

Dr Natalie Murray

Dr Murray is one of the world’s leading specialists in the history of modern art. She teaches Collecting and Curating the Modern: European Art, 1863-1930, at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is also a Senior Curator. In 2017, she curated the major exhibition “Revolution: Russian Art. 1917-1932” at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and is currently working on several exhibition projects in Moscow and in Paris.

Her books and articles extend across the wide field of 19 & 20–century Western-European and Russian art, and she has featured in films dedicated to the Hermitage museum and the Russian revolution, and in programmes for BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. Natalia is also a trustee of the Russian Avant-Garde Research Project – a UK-based charity that shares one of her aspirations to reduce the number of fakes on the Russian art market.

Her most recent book – “Art for the Workers: Proletarian Art and Festive Decorations of Petrograd. 1917-1920” – was published by ‘Brill’ in May 2018. In autumn 2018 the Russian translation of her 2012 book “The Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-Garde” will come out, and “The Life and Times of Nikolay Punin” will be published by ‘Slovo’ in Moscow. Her book on the first women-gallerists will be published by Unicorn in August 2021.

 

The course is co-taught by psychologists – experts in human perception, creativity and art and aesthetics.

For group bookings, and for multiple booking discounts, please email us.