HAA 1025 History and Ethics of Collecting

This course will critically examine the history of public and private collecting practices, the cultural and scholarly rationales behind collecting, and the legal and ethical challenges that collections face. Case studies will include the british museum and the louvre, Pittsburgh's private collectors frick and mellon, the fate of art in Europe during World War II, the antiquities trade, and ethnographic collections. Using these and other examples, we will evaluate the arguments for and against universal art museums, the repatriation of works to source nations or original owners, and the protection of cultural heritage during times of conflict.