New degree programme: MSc Collecting & Provenance in an International Context


Yet another way to study with me at the University of Glasgow

Provenance Research! Yes! I can’t wait any more to tell you about the master’s degree programme that starts here at Glasgow in Sept 2016. Below is a prepared, official blurb, but any day now the Uni web page will be up about it and we will start accepting students.

I receive a lot of emails from potential master’s students with Arts and Humanities backgrounds who are in to art and antiquities crime but who aren’t quite interested in doing a full conversion into a sociology degree: THIS is the programme for you. You can take my courses and do a dissertation with me…but you can stay in arts.

For more info, email me or Dr. Minna Torma.

MSc History of Art: Collecting and Provenance in an International Context

This programme is designed to promote interdisciplinary study of the history of collecting and collections from a global perspective, most particularly the examination of the trajectory of artefacts through time and space and their historical legacy. Subjects covered will include legal issues and methodological approaches relating to provenance and restitution and the present concerns around the illegal trafficking of cultural objects; connoisseurship, taste, and the patterns of collecting and viewing both private and public, and the politics of display. The programme will move the collecting debate beyond the usual focus on the Western tradition.

The programme as a whole seeks to:

  • Develop the student’s knowledge of the core issues and methodological approaches employed in the study of the history of collecting and collections, and of historical and contemporary practice in relation to collecting and collections;
  • Encourage the student’s closer study of works of art or design and of collecting practices using the University’s collections at Kelvin Hall and those of other institutions, locally, nationally and internationally;
  • Extend knowledge of a particular collection, subject or period chosen by the student;
  • Address issues around provenance, trafficking and restitution, historically and in the contemporary context;
  • Offer opportunities to develop practical skills in collections-based research.

This is a 12-month full-time/24-month part-time programme. Full-time students will take six courses spread over two semesters and write a dissertation during the period April to August.

Course Titles

  • Cultures of Collecting – Collecting Cultures (core)
  • Methodologies 1: Object Biography (core)
  • Objects in Motion 1: Provenance (core)
  • Methodologies 2: Collecting and Display (c0re)
  • Objects in Motion 2: Illegal Trafficking (option)
  • Objects in Motion 3: Restitution (option)
  • Work Placement OR Independent Study OR other relevant courses in the College of Arts
    Dissertation (option)

[Note, all of my online and in person Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime are options on this degree programme]

Resources and partners

The Programme will draw upon the following resources: the Hunterian based at the Collections Study Centre at Kelvin Hall; City of Glasgow’s collections situated at Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery, The Burrell Collection; Gallery of Modern Art and Pollok House; the national collections consisting of the National Galleries of Scotland, National Museums of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland. In addition, the Programme’s partner institution, the Smithsonian, will also offer work placement opportunities, project supervision and lectures from visiting specialists. The programme will also benefit from visiting specialists from a range of international institutions, such as Hong Kong University and the Freie Universität, Berlin.

Convenors and Lecturers:

Dr Minna Törmä, Lecture in Chinese Art

Dr Christa Roodt, Lecturer in Art, Law and Business

Proferssor Nick Pearce, Richmond Chair of Fine Arts

Dr Donna Yates, Lecturer in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime