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HA5032: ART AND BUSINESS (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course, which combines theoretical learning with a hands-on approach, exposes you to the realities of the art market and financial aspects of art dealing and heritage conservation.  You will engage with professionals in the field who explain the reality of running an art business, including different types of gallery, an auction house, an historic venue, and an individual artist.  The role of art as a major economic and social catalyst is explored through various regeneration schemes.  There will be onsite visits to galleries and auctions, during which you will interview key practitioners in the field.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor John Morrison

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of Anthropology (AT) (Studied) or Music (MU) (Studied) or Master Of Science In Cultural And Creative Communication or Master of Letters in Art and Business (Studied)
  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course is based on 4 themes:

1. The Artist/Architect

2. The Dealer and the Marketplace

3. Regeneration and Identity

4. Cultural Tourism

Each strand develops during the course of the year, starting with students working in class, moving on to talks  from experts in the field, and then case studies which emerge from the field work.

Theme 1 insures that students are familiar with the original creator of art or architecture, and the commercial circumstances in which they operate: some great artists are commercial failures while others have been astute businessmen. Financing the artist is the Patron, who has usually made his wealth elsewhere but makes specific demands on the artist. Students will meet and interview artists and patrons. They will learn about the financial mechanics of philanthropy,  securing patronage and legacies.

Theme 2 concerns commercial galleries, auctions, art fairs, and the economics of the world market. Students will visit galleries and auctions, and interview dealers and auctioneers.

Theme 3 looks at the major investment in art as a driver for economic and social change. Vast capital schemes for urban regeneration generally focus on keynote art and cultural venues, often with spectacular new architecture. Students will examine both the reuse of heritage buildings for new commercial purposes, and the use of art venues to bring about employment and social change. Sources of funding for these schemes are investigated. Students will encounter many of these sites in their field work.

Theme 4 looks at the role of heritage tourism as a means of developing the national and regional economy, using examples from Britain and abroad. This strand integrates both art collections, heritage monuments, cultural education, display, access and conservation with the realities of transport and accommodation.  Students will experience this as consumers on their field trips but also meet organisers and developers of  the tourist industry.

Associated Costs

Full Day Visits - TBC
1st session (students to make their own travel arrangements)
1st session (students to make their own travel arrangements)

Residential Group Visit - TBC
London in the 2nd session - (Students to make their own travel and accommodation arrangements)

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

1st attempt: Continuous assessment 100%. There will be two assessed pieces of work per semester, each worth 25%. . 3 x 2000 word essays, and one 10 minute presentation backed by a 2000 word report

Resit: Not normally applicable

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.



Course Learning Outcomes


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