4.367 | Spring 2006 | Graduate

Studio Seminar in Public Art


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 3 hours / session

Course Syllabus

How do we define Public Art? This course focuses on the production of projects for public places. Public Art is a concept that is in constant discussion and revision, as much as the evolution and transformation of public spaces and cities are. Monuments are repositories of memory and historical presences with the expectation of being permanent. Public interventions are created not to impose and be temporary, but as forms intended to activate discourse and discussion. Considering the concept of a museum as a public device and how they are searching for new ways of avoiding generic identities, we will deal with the concept of the personal imaginary museum. It should be considered as a point of departure to propose a personal individual construction based on the concept of defining a personal imaginary museum - concept, program, collection, events, architecture, public diffusion, etc.

The Project will center around the idea of the Imaginary Museum.

The project will be developed individually or as a group. Students will be required to create a project that will introduce the following:

  • Research, context, process and criticism.
  • Site specific. Time specific. Context specific.
  • The socio-political significance of the placement and imposition of symbols in the public arena.
  • The awareness of artists and architects to project and discuss these forms.
  • Dialogue and collaboration.

Readings and slide lectures will be presented for discussion.


Malraux, André. Museum Without Walls. Translated from French by Stuart Gilbert and Francis Price. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967.

McShine, Kynaston. The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art, 1999. ISBN: 0870700928.

Greenberg, Reesa, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne, eds. Thinking About Exhibitions. New York, NY: Routledge, 1996. ISBN: 0415115892.

Buy at MIT Press Crimp, Douglas. On the Museum’s Ruins. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993. ISBN: 0262032090.

Putnam, James. Art and Artifact: The Museum as Medium. New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 2001. ISBN: 0500237905.

Augé, Marc. Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. Translated by John Howe. New York, NY: Verso, 1995. ISBN: 1859849563.

Bronson, A. A., and P. Gale, eds. Museums by Artists. Toronto, CA: Art Metropole, 1983. ISBN: 0920956130.

Bennett, Tony. The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics. New York, NY: Routledge, 1995. ISBN: 0415053870.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2006
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Projects with Examples