cod. 1007215

Academic year 2023/24
3° year of course - Second semester
- Federica VERATELLI
Academic discipline
Museologia e critica artistica e del restauro (L-ART/04)
Discipline relative ai beni storico-archeologici e artistici, archivistici e librari, demoetnoantropologici e ambientali
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit


Learning objectives

The course aims to provide students, according to the Dublin Descriptors for the bachelor’s degree (First cycle - European Qualification Framework Level 6), with adequate knowledge and understanding of Museum as an institution (i.e., its meaning, its social role, its essential functions: conservative, scientific, didactic) (1° Descriptor - Knowledge and understanding).
At the end of the course, the student must be able to:

• demonstrate, by applying knowledge and understanding, to be professionally able to solve through the creation of arguments, different kinds of issues relating to the museology practice (2° Descriptor - Applying knowledge and understanding);
• have the ability to independently collect and understand the sources for history of collecting and history of museums, in Italy and abroad, including the consideration on connected social, scientific or ethic issues (3° Descriptor - Making judgements);
• communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions in the field of museology and on cultural and artistic heritage valorization and conservation strategies to both specialist and non-specialist audiences (4° Descriptor - Communication skills);
• improve the learning skills that are necessary to continue undertaking further study with a high degree of autonomy in the field of cultural and, more specific, artistic heritage (5° Descriptor - Learning skills).

The threshold learning minimum outcomes are the student's ability to recognize different kinds of collections and museums, in Italy and abroad, by applying the knowledge of their origins and characters with attention to different historical and cultural contexts.



Course unit content

The course aims to provide the student with the basic knowledge for a multifaceted approach to the museum from its origins, both from a historical point of view, through the study of the phenomenon of collecting and the history of exhibitions, and from an architectural and managerial point of view, through the observation of the evolution of the museum machine. The course will follow a chronological path divided into modules that from the prehistory of collecting and the appearance of the first museum forms (studioli, wunderkammern, galleries) will lead the student through the great princely collections and the seventeenth-eighteenth-century picture galleries to the museums of the Enlightenment, finally arriving at the museographic proposals of the twentieth century and the new millennium, investigating the museum practices developed in both European (Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, etc. ), and non-European context (the United States, China, Japan), with special attention to the new frontiers of colonial and postcolonial museology.

Full programme

• Introduction: key words.
1. From the studiolo to the great princely collections.
2. The Enlightenment museums.
3. The Napoleonic Spoliations: the State as Collector.
4. Art history as science and the great museums of the 19th century.
5. Science and applied arts museums.
6. Museums for the city, museums for the territory.
7. The museum debate in the 20th century.
8. The golden age of Italian museography.
9. The museum of the 21st century.
10. House-museums.
11. New contents for new museums.
12. Museums in the Digital Age.
• Appendix: The functions of the museum.


Attending students

Subject matter:

• A DIGITAL DOSSIER: PowerPoint slideshows containing images and sources, including bibliography in PDF, shown during frontal lessons, available at the end of the course on the platform for blended learning Elly DUSIC (please note that ppt is a supplementary tool to study and not a substitute for textbook);
• THE TEXTBOOK: Maria Teresa Fiorio, Il museo nella storia. Dallo studiolo al museo virtuale, Milano, Pearson, Terza edizione, 2023.

Non-attending students
The list of recommended readings above, plus the book:

• F. Haskell, The Ephemeral Museum. Old Master Paintings and the Rise of the Art Exhibition, Yale University, 2000.

Erasmus and Foundation Year students
Erasmus and Foundation Year students are asked to get in touch with the lecturer for a program tailored to their needs.

Do you have any doubts?
For any further guidance on the bibliography, students are requested to come to office-hours (in-person and online). Response to questions sent via e-mail or other platform (Teams, etc.) is not always assured. Relying on Whatsapp group chats is not always the optimal solution for exam success.

Teaching methods

Classroom lectures, with PowerPoint projections (sources, works of art, video, documentaries). Powerpoint slideshows containing images and sources and bibliography shown during frontal lessons are available at the end of the course on the platform for blended learning Elly DUSIC, and does not replace the textbook.

Assessment methods and criteria

** Given the high number of students and related organizational problems, no additional exams dates will be granted. Students are therefore advised to view the dates and arrange accordingly. After registering for the exam, cancellation for that exam is possible by emailing the teacher **

Oral exam.
The exam (20 minutes max) concerns the entire course and aims to test the student knowledge on the first part and on the second part of the course.
Students who don't attend the classes on regular basis must refer to the list of recommended reading.

In Italian Universities grades are given on the basis of 30 points (30/30). When the student's performance is considered outstanding, laude can be added. The minimum passing grade is 18/30. Grades below 18 are a failure and are not registered.
A failure is determined by 1. a lack of understanding of the basic content of the course; 2. the inability to express oneself adequately; 3. by a lack of autonomous preparation; 4. the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and its decoding; 5. the inability in making judgements independently.
The minimum passing grade (18-23/30) is ascribed when the student's performance is acceptable, according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above. Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to students who show more than a sufficient level (24-25/30) or a good level (26-27/30) according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above. High scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are assigned to students who show a very good or an excellent level according to the 5 evaluation indicators expressed above.

Other information

For any further information please contact the teacher during the Office hour (