Studying Contemporary Art Abroad (AHIS30002) & Advanced Studying Contemporary Art Abroad

11 Jun – 11 Jul 2016

  • Region:
    • USA
  • Status: limited
  • Code: CC21603

Course Overview

AHIS30002: Studying Contemporary Art Abroad, Winter Intensive
Advanced Studying Contemporary Art Abroad, Winter Intensive for Honours Art History, or Masters of Art Curatorship, or Master of Art and Cultural Management students. Subject code to be confirmed.
Semester: Semester 2 Assessed
School: School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne
Course Lecturer: Professor Charles Green
Credit Points: 25 credit points. Available to 3rd and 4th year
Enrolments: Credit & Cross-Credit Students


Australians Studying Abroad and the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne are, once again, collaborating to offer two University subjects on site in New York: “Studying Contemporary Art Abroad” for 3rd year undergraduate students and “Advanced Studying Contemporary Art Abroad” for 4th year Honours, Master of Art Curatorship and other graduate coursework students, including MACM. These intensives offer a period of intensive study, exploring the ways in which the visual arts mesh with the social, historical, cultural and economic fabric of Manhattan. The subjects may be taken within the Bachelor of Arts degree.

The 2016 tour will be the 11th offered. Since 1997 students have explored New York City’s galleries, theatres, parks, museums, subways and streets. Whether paying homage to Richard Serra at the Museum of Modern Art or viewing independent film and video inside the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge, students immersed themselves in the official and unofficial arts cultures of the city. Independent of the teaching programme, students enjoyed Shakespeare in Central Park, Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade, Gay Pride March, Fourth of July fireworks and the many entertainments on offer over the New York summer.

Subject Description

These subjects are taught in New York during a one-month study tour. The visual arts form a significant component of the economy of New York; directly through the art market and tourism, indirectly through the physical and ‘lifestyle’ infrastructure sustaining the contemporary art scene. In addition, the visual arts have changed the face of the city, converting industrial precincts into trendy art-zones, and abandoned factories into glamorous lofts and galleries. The sheer scale of the arts industry in New York offers ample opportunities to explore the key institutions, both cultural and economic, of the contemporary art scene. At the same time, the interaction of urban renewal, lifestyle activities and the highly mediated ‘image’ of contemporary art make Manhattan an ideal case study of the mobile, symbolic economies of contemporary culture.

The social, economic, geographical and cultural effects of the Manhattan art scene will be the focus of the subjects; contemporary art practices will be studied throughout but will always be linked to the broader social context of the city in which they are produced, displayed and consumed. Students will be introduced to the key institutional components of the contemporary art scene: museums, galleries, alternative spaces, corporate collections, auction houses, art magazines and studios. The display and consumption of art will also be studied, allowing consideration of recent developments in museology, arts policy, commodity theory and cultural tourism.

Exploring the arts precincts of New York amounts to an examination of New York’s recent history, the city’s own self-image, and the changes affecting it in the 21st century. In addition to art galleries and museums, students will visit significant urban precincts such as Times Square, Lower East Side, SoHo, Chelsea, Brooklyn and Williamsburg.

The Academic Program

Lectures and tutorials are generally blocked together, with site visits on separate days. This arrangement has two aims. First, when site visits finish, students are then free to explore the area further on their own initiative in the afternoon prior to returning to base for the evening meal. Second, free afternoons and free days allow students time to pursue independent research related to their assignments.

This course is very demanding, both physically and mentally. There is a lot of walking and the weather is frequently very, very hot. In addition we must navigate a lot of steep stairs quickly since we use the subway constantly. Ask yourself if constant, non-stop walking and exertion in hot weather is for you.

Subject Structure

The subjects consist of 12 lectures (1.5 hours), 12 tutorials (one hour) and 12 site-visits (on average, three hours plus). Supplementary site visits will be incorporated to take advantage of any special events or exhibitions during the course of the subjects. Informal group visits are often organized according to students’ own interests. Site-visits will usually take place in the morning. Lectures and tutorials will take place in the morning and/or afternoon. Lectures and tutorials often relate to the site-visit on the following day. Tutorials are a forum for the detailed discussion of the specific themes of the subject. Participants will receive a subject handbook with readings that will form the basis of tutorial discussion. Site-visits, lectures and tutorials are scheduled so that ample time will be available for students to individually explore the city and to undertake independent research related to course assessment.

The Course Lecturer in Charge

‘Studying Contemporary Art Abroad’ and ‘Advanced Studying Contemporary Art Abroad’ will be led by Professor Charles Green, an artist and historian specializing in the history of international and Australian art after 1960. Charles Green is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Melbourne and has a PhD from the University of Melbourne. He has written 4 major books: Peripheral Vision: Contemporary Australian Art 1970-94 (1995); The Third Hand: Artist Collaborations from Conceptualism to Postmodernism (2001), Framing Conflict (2014), and Biennials, Triennials and Documenta (2016), and has been an Australian correspondent for Artforum for many years. As Adjunct Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Victoria, he worked as a senior curator on Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968-2002 (2002), world rush_4 artists (2003), 2004: Australian Visual Culture (ACMI/NGVA, 2004), and 2006 Contemporary Commonwealth (ACMI/NGVA, 2006).

Course Leader

Dr Lyndell Brown has a PhD from the University of New South Wales and is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. She taught extensively at UNSW on courses on contemporary art and on memory and self, as well as in art schools, including Monash University and the Victorian College of the Arts.

Summary of Subject Details

3rd year level: undergraduate students may participate in the tour by enrolling in AHIS30002 ‘Studying Contemporary Art Abroad’ which is a Winter Intensive subject assessed in semester 2.

4th year level: Honours, coursework Masters and postgraduate students may participate in the tour by enrolling in ‘Advanced Studying Contemporary Art Abroad’ which is a Winter Intensive subject assessed in semester 2.

Further Information

For reservations and travel information:
Australians Studying Abroad
Tel:                  03-98226899
Fax:                 03-98226989

Academic enquiries only
The Lecturer-in-Charge of Contemporary Culture: Art in New York is Professor Charles Green; Room G29
c/o School of Culture and Communications
Tel:                  03-8344 4429
or refer to:

The Course Tutor of Contemporary Culture: Art in New York is Dr Lyndell Brown

Teaching staff will be available in New York at regularly scheduled times to speak to students about assignments, offer advice on research, or to assist students in finding their way about the city.

Lectures and Tutorials

Classes will be held in the Dodge Room, I. House.


All readings listed for individual tutorials are contained within the teaching materials package. Readings listed as background reading provide broad historical and contextual details regarding tutorial topics. They may be used to review or extend upon lectures, and will be useful in preparing essays. It is assumed that the readings provided will be sufficient for tutorial discussion. Students are expected to identify and locate further readings in relation to written assignments, both in New York and on return to Australia. Teaching staff will advise students on research techniques that may be used to locate additional reading material.

Site Visits

Site visits will take several forms: on-site lectures and walking tours; museum and gallery visits; independent self-guided tours (itineraries provided by course coordinator). Visits may be three or more hours in duration, travel time from International House can take up to 45 minutes each way. Visits are usually scheduled such that students may remain on-site as long as they please afterwards, or be in an area of the city that offers activities related to the site. For example, a gallery visit in Chelsea would leave students free to visit other galleries in the area afterwards. Museum visits are escorted visits rather than guided tours since museums prohibit large groups. In such cases, teaching staff are available on-site to speak to students individually or in small groups. The usual procedure for site visits is as follows. Students will be informed of specific location of site visit, travel details, and rendezvous point in the lecture prior to the site visit. In addition, details of site visits will be posted on a noticeboard dedicated to our course in International House. Students will generally meet in the lobby of International House at 9.00 am on the morning of the site visit in order to review travel details. Travel to sites will be by public transport (bus or subway). Travel to and from site ranges between 30 and 45 minutes in each direction, depending on location and time of day. Experience has shown that rendezvous on site are more efficient when all participants depart simultaneously from International House. Please consult with teaching staff if you intend to travel to a site visit independently. In many cases, practical considerations may dictate that the group divide into two at the site. Site visits may be rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions. Teaching staff will be happy to advise students of optional site visits that complement the curriculum and may be undertaken independently by students.

Free Time

Classes are scheduled so that students will frequently have mornings or afternoons free. Students may use this time as they please. Teaching staff will offer advice on possible activities. It is expected that some of this free time must be used by students to research assignments and prepare for classes.

New York Libraries

Assignments require research to be conducted in New York. Students will have access to some of the great libraries of the world. Since these are non-circulating and do not loan their books, students should schedule library periods into free time. Students are encouraged to reflect on availability of resources, using time in New York to consult materials available only there, leaving materials readily available in Australia until their return. Further research facilities are available in libraries attached to major museums, however some access restrictions apply. As a general rule museums expect researchers to have exhausted public resources before seeking access to museum libraries.

Columbia University Libraries

Students may apply for permission to use the libraries of Columbia University; this involves payment of a fee. Check their opening hours and locations on Columbia’s website. You will have to apply and should check the opening hours of the relevant office, and will have to show your current student card at our University. Charges will apply but may well represent an excellent bargain.


The Itinerary

The following itinerary provides an outline of the proposed daily program. Participants should note that the daily activities described in this itinerary may be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate museum opening hours, temporary exhibitions and other events.


International House provides a good student cafeteria serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The program cost includes a meal card equivalent to $200.00US. The average breakfast is approximately $5.00 – $7.00, lunch is about $6.00 – $9.00 and dinner about $8.00 – $12.00. The approximate daily meal allowance has been estimated to be $20.00 per day. The meal card is envisaged therefore, to cover approximately one-third of the meals required for the duration of the program. The meal allowance is NON REFUNDABLE, regardless of the amount left on the cards at the end of the course. There are delis, supermarkets and restaurants close to International House.

New York - 30 nights

Day 1: Saturday 11 June: Melbourne-New York

Depart Melbourne for New York. Upon arrival, transfer by private coach to International House.

Day 2: Sunday 12 June: New York
  • Lecture 1 and Tutorial 1 (Afternoon): Orientation.

A review of accommodation facilities, meal arrangements, teaching activities, and means of getting about the city. This introductory lecture will review the general procedures around which the teaching programme will be structured. The general pattern of lecture, tutorial, and site visit will be outlined. Questions regarding assessment, assignments, reading and research procedures will be answered. Administrative details such as tutorial groups and availability of teaching staff for meetings will be attended. Accommodation facilities and day to day life in International House will be discussed. To a large extent, this will be a ‘housekeeping’ session, but is an important stage in the process of settling into study and accommodation.

Day 3: Monday 13 June: New York
  • Lecture 2 (Afternoon): ‘The City as Text’.

An introduction to the symbolic status of New York City, as constructed within historical, literary, musical and cinematic texts. The place of such symbolic economies within the material and ideological economies of the city. This lecture will provide an overview of the differing ways in which meaning has been attributed to the city. The construction of the city as one of the prime metaphors of modernism, especially in art and literature, will be reviewed. Models of the contemporary city drawn from architectural and urban theory will be used to introduce distinctions between modern and contemporary experiences of the city.

  • Tutorial 2 (Afternoon): ‘The City as Text’.

Readings for this tutorial focus on the centrality of New York City within American conceptions of modernity and urbanism. Such conceptions may be constructed on the basis of material history (political, economic, and institutional structures) or mythological structures (the symbolic structures of literature, art, film, popular memory). Readings note the way that these differing systems meld with and build on each other. Transitions from modern to contemporary understandings of the city and its meanings will be considered, in particular the ways in which the city becomes a figure within discourse (e.g. a metaphor or symbol). More recent concerns over New York’s apparent loss of centrality within American and international culture will be discussed. The reading material also considers the recent redevelopment of the famous Times Square precinct of mid-town at the hands of the Disney Corporation. We will consider the debates that circulated around this redevelopment in terms of what they suggest about the city as a public and contemporary space. Central to the tutorial will also be the effort to reformulate a material and discursive New York following the 9.11 disaster, and the role that cultural production plays in this project. Ideas emerging in this tutorial will form the basis for later study of SoHo and public art.

Day 4: Tuesday 14 June: New York
  • Site Visit 1: Times Square, The New York Public Library & Bryant Park.

Students will travel to the NYPL via subway. This field trip will guide students through the primary research facilities of one of the world’s great public libraries. Library orientation will be informal, and to a large extent self-guided. A visit to the adjacent Bryant Park will introduce students to models of urban renewal in New York City, and controversies resulting from them. Students visit Times Square to witness the ‘Disneyfication’ of New York.

Day 5: Wednesday 15 June: New York
  • Site Visit 2: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Building an understanding of the structures, zones and ideologies of the Manhattan art scene, we shall visit the Museum of Modern Art in order to examine the version of art historical narrative presented in its display of Twentieth Century art, and the ways in which contemporary art is appended to this narrative.

Day 6: Thursday 16 June: New York
  • Site Visit 3: SoHo: Cultural Institutions and Cultural Landscapes

The site visit is a general one, with both practical and psychological ends. It will allow students to become familiar with the daily routines of travel, since getting to the site will allow us to rehearse our usual rhythm of post-breakfast rendezvous, travel to site, and reunion at destination. The SoHo district is a densely packed enclave of light industry, residential and commercial activities. As a geographical focus of the contemporary art market until a few years ago, it is a site that has been superseded by Chelsea as a locus for art but which still houses several key galleries and art spaces, which we will visit. This walking tour will orientate students to the area, exploring its history, architecture and current use from the street. At the end of this visit, students may choose to walk further downtown to Battery Park City in lower Manhattan. Students may visit a major urban renewal project affected by tragic recent events that alter our reading of this part of the city forever. This is a site combining housing, commercial space, parks and site specific art works, Battery Park City became the focus of debates as to the meanings of urban space and the possibility of regenerating New York. Artists include Mary Miss, Ned Smyth, Richard Artschwager, Tom Otterness, and R.M. Fischer. Students are encouraged to visit the New York Vietnam War Memorial, Water Street, and Battery Park (littered with earlier memorials) for a broader survey of public sculpture, as well as the 9/11 World Trade Center site.

Day 7: Friday 17 June: New York
  • Site Visit 4: Chelsea 1

Squeezed out of SoHo in the mid-1990s by rising real estate prices, commercial galleries have colonized the semi-industrial area of Chelsea (West 20s). On this site visit we will visit Chelsea, this time working inside contemporary art galleries. These galleries have opened up over the past eight years in an exodus from SoHo and the ‘blue-chip’ zone of 57th St. Chelsea is an opportunity to see the premier art zone for contemporary art in the world, as well as to see the increasing parallels (architectural and procedural) between the art dealer’s gallery and the museum. It is assumed that students will return to Chelsea galleries independently.

Day 8: Saturday 18 June: New York
  • Site Visit 5: New Museum and Lower East Side

This day we visit the emerging galleries of the Lower East Side, then meet again after lunch to visit the New Museum, an extraordinary space newly opened in Manhattan. The museum is a major centre for Contemporary Art and the development of new ideas, and the seven level building is now a remarkable addition to the downtown skyline.

Day 9: Sunday 19 June: New York
  • No scheduled activities.
Day 10: Monday 20 June: Excursion Upstate New York
  • Site Visit 6: (Early morning start) Dia Beacon

Depart early by bus for Beacon where we shall spend the afternoon at the Dia Beacon museum, a huge museum housing one of the principal collections of European and American contemporary art in the country. In the late afternoon we return to New York. This is one of the most important site-visits of the tour, and the journey itself is up the spectacular Hudson River Valley, site of paintings by the mid-19th c. Hudson River School, whose works can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum back in NYC.

Day 11: Tuesday 21 June: New York
  • Lecture 3 (Morning): ‘Cultural Institutions & Cultural Landscapes’.

A review of the status (social, historical, political) of major cultural institutions in New York City. Focussing on the Museum of Modern Art, this session will consider the ways in which museums embody cultural and ideological values. It will examine the history of that institution, and relate it to histories and theories of civic space and culture in New York. Issues of funding and patronage will be used to discuss the ‘provision’ and ‘ownership’ of culture in New York. The physical, aesthetic and ideological space of the museum will be discussed in order to explore the kinds of behaviours, experiences and ideas generated by art museums.

  • Tutorial 3 (Morning): ‘Cultural Institutions & Cultural Landscapes’.

Notions of art as representing civilization will be related to histories of civic humanism within western culture. This model of high culture will be contrasted with the cultures of leisure, tourism and commerce that surround the museum. Readings will offer models of the kind of spectatorial experience generated in the museum.

  • Lecture 4 (Afternoon): ‘The Art Market 1: SoHo as po-mo economy’.

A review of the recent history of the art market in Manhattan, with particular focus on the boom years of the late 1980s. The structure of the art market, its methods of display and commerce, its audience and its cultures will be discussed. The development of the market for contemporary art in New York in the period after World War 2 will be reviewed. The fundamental structures of the market will be detailed (dealers, audiences, buyers) with attention being given to the shifting hierarchies of taste and value within them. Particular attention will be given to the ‘boom’ market of the 1980s and the suspicions of inflation, boosterism, and hype that accompanied it. The SoHo area of lower Manhattan will be used as a case study. SoHo will be discussed as symptomatic of a shift from modern to postmodern economies and urban spaces. SoHo’s passages from 19th century industrial manufacture, through late modernist economic decline, culminating in its revival as a postmodern economy of leisure, spectacle, and consumption will be traced. The central role of the visual arts industry in SoHo’s material and symbolic transformation into bohemian pleasure zone will be explored. Squeezed out of SoHo in the mid-1990s by rising real estate prices, commercial galleries have colonised the semi-industrial area of Chelsea (West 20s).

  • Tutorial 4 (Afternoon): ‘The Art Market 1: SoHo as po-mo economy’.

Readings for this tutorial trace the spatial, architectural, economic, and cultural history of the SoHo district. We will review SoHo’s manufacturing history and its decline during New York’s post-war shift away from industry and towards a service economy. The colonisation of SoHo by artists from the late 1960s will be discussed, focussing on the ways that the use and meanings of buildings, streets, and communities changed. These changes will be framed by bureaucratic factors (zoning regulations), economic considerations (the property market), and discursive structures (the tradition of bohemianism in the arts). The dramatic resurgence in SoHo’s fortunes will be seen as symptomatic of the transition from manufacturing to leisure economy. The recent displacement of the arts industry from SoHo will also be discussed. The specific structures for the sale of contemporary art will be examined (forms of display and marketing, pricing, commission). The less tangible role of the dealer as cultural entrepreneur and mediator will be discussed. The conflict of dealers’ claims to altruism and the apparent avarice of the 1980s will considered.

Day 12: Wednesday 22 June: New York
  • Lecture 5 (Morning): ‘Chelsea Inside the White Cube: Art Market 2’.

This session will explore the next stage in art’s renovation of New York’s urban geography, as well as considering the ‘museumification’ of the contemporary art space.

  • Tutorial 5 (Morning): ‘Chelsea Inside the White Cube: Art Market 2’.

Having already explored the street geography of SoHo, and considered something of its industrial history, we will now compare Chelsea as a site for the display and marketing of a commodity that is simultaneously a product and information, will examine the physical layout of galleries and gallery buildings, and attempt to gauge the changed ambience of the new precinct. This site visit will explore the next stage in art’s renovation of New York’s urban geography, as well as considering the ‘museumification’ of the contemporary art space.

  • Lecture 6 (Afternoon): ‘Alternative Spaces’.

The rise of the art market and the advent of public funding produced, in the early 1970s, an ambition towards alternative means of display. The alternative space bridged the gap between the studio and the gallery without succumbing to the temptations of commerce. Such, at least, was the theory. In practice, alternative spaces have had an intricate relationship with the mainstream, standing aloof from it while simultaneously rendering the new art ripe for assimilation. The development of institutions bridging the museum and the contemporary art space (geographically, architecturally and institutionally) will be reviewed, focusing on the New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Institute for Art and Urban Resources (PS 1).

  • Tutorial 6 (Afternoon): ‘Alternative Spaces’.

Readings focus on the alternative space as a component of the art scene’s colonisation of SoHo in the late 1960s. The philosophy of independence from market forces and from the geographic centres of the mainstream, uptown art scene will be reviewed. The philosophy of independence will be contrasted with the assimilation of the alternative space to the mainstream. The possibility that the alternative space has been institutionalised as point of entry to the mainstream will be considered.

Day 13: Thursday 23 June: New York
  • Site Visit 8: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens.

Opened in 1977, and newly renovated in 1997, the Institute of Contemporary Art at PS1 is the largest contemporary art facility in the world. Located in Queens and incorporating studios and exhibition spaces, PS1 represents contemporary efforts to negotiate a balance between museum, avant-garde and marketplace.

Day 14: Friday 24 June: New York
  • Lecture 7 (Afternoon): ‘The Museum and Contemporary Art’.

This lecture will review the history of the interaction of modern and contemporary art and the museum in New York. Beginning with the formation of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum prior to World War 2, the role of the museum in mediating between avant-garde art and a broader audience will be considered. The museum is a site positioned between the studio and the public, between the present and the past. Seminars readings focus on the museum as an ideological space and a system of knowledge. That is, the museum will be examined as an institution vetting and selecting art, constructing explanatory narratives, and guiding the visitor’s experience and understanding of art works. We will consider both what the museum includes and excludes, the paths it ordains and those it closes off. In addition we will examine changes in the museum wrought by recent shifts in patterns of cultural consumption (the blockbuster, the cultural tourist, the souvenir). The expansion of established museums into ‘franchised’ outlets will be examined.

  • Tutorial 7 (Afternoon): ‘The Museum and Contemporary Art’.

Having visited both commercial art galleries and formal museums on site visits, this session will consider the ways in which contemporary art moves from the margins into the cultural mainstream. The conventional notion of contemporary art positions it outside the mainstream as a transgressive avant-garde. In Manhattan, however, contemporary art often quickly achieves ‘museum status’. We will explore what forms of selection, editing and display frame this transition.

Day 15: Saturday 25 June: New York
  • Site Visit 8: Chelsea 2

We continue our exploration of Chelsea galleries.

Day 16: Sunday 26 June: New York
  • No scheduled activities.

Students are to gather resources for their research essays, utilizing NYC’s libraries. Students will be writing essay 1 and gathering material and notes for the larger essay 2.

Day 17: Monday 27 June: New York
  • Lecture 8 (Morning): ‘Money and the Visual Arts: Art Market 3’.

The rise of the art market in the 1980s and its affiliation with the leisure-consumption industry (especially in the form of the ‘blockbuster’ exhibition) has led to a growth in corporate collecting and sponsorship of the visual arts. Such activities are a function of the prestige value of art but also the possibility that such prestige might be conferred on sponsors. In a culture with a long tradition of philanthropy, the affiliation of art and corporate sponsorship raises significant questions regarding the idea of democratic, public culture, the role of money in national cultural life and the ability of art to maintain the avant-garde notion of independence. This lecture will review the relationship between collectors, corporations and art; including sponsorship, patronage, and collecting. The rise of corporate sponsorship during the 1980s boom will be examined, along with the increasing reliance of museums on such patronage in the context of funding cuts. Concerns as to the influence of corporate patronage (censorship, middle-brow taste, avoidance of challenging work) will be reviewed.

  • Tutorial 8 (Morning): ‘Money and the Visual Arts: Art Market 3’.

As a centre of collector and corporate activity, New York is a focal point of patronage. Readings will review the structures and activities of sponsorship, with particular attention given to what collectors, whether private or corporations, hope to gain from an involvement with art. Such questions reflect of prestige, and the forms of philanthropy in the age of late capital. Readings will relate to sites already visited and discussed in the course.

  • Lecture 9 (Afternoon): ‘The Studio’.

The studio is often regarded as the inner sanctum of artistic practice, a private zone divorced from the public commerce of the art scene. But such is the contemporary artist’s self-consciousness about the relationship of private and public that the studio often figures in complex patterns of behaviour and production which reflect on the ideologies of the art world. We shall review orthodox notions of studio practice and their mutation into the conceptual, process and performance activities of recent years. This lecture will explore the mythology of the studio as site of creation contrasting it with the pragmatic conditions that frequently shape practice. The fate of the studio in the age of post-studio practice such as installation and performance will be discussed. The development of the studio-loft as a desired form of interior decor will be considered.

  • Tutorial 9 (Afternoon): ‘The Studio’.

Readings for this tutorial focus on the studio as a site for practical operations and as a stylish model of urbane interior design. Readings also explore the inheritance of the workshop tradition and compare the studio to small business and light industrial operations.

Day 18: Tuesday 28 June: New York
  • Site Visit 9 (Morning): Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Met is NYC’s great, premier, much-loved museum of all periods of art, in particular Old Master art. This grand Museum, one of the world’s great museums, does superb temporary exhibitions, which we will see. The contemporary wing is very patchy. Why does the Met not devote more attention to contemporary art?

Day 19: Wednesday 29 June: New York
  • Lecture 10 and Tutorial 10 combined (Morning): ‘Art Criticism’.

Art criticism plays an important role in the circulation and mediation of contemporary art. Because the art market centres on Manhattan, the publishing apparatuses of art criticism also tend to be focused there. This session will take the form of a round table forum on the role of art criticism. Speakers may include editors and critics working on New York based art magazines. This will introduce students to the current forms of art criticism in America. We will discuss participants’ practices as critics, reflecting on methods of writing and analysis, and the relationship between writing and the business of art publishing. The readings are intended to introduce students to a variety of critical methods, from those rooted in 19th century traditions of taste and aestheticism through to those premised recent theory and politics. A broad range of positions are given, many relating to criticism in the daily press rather than specialist publications. General issues addressed will include the role of criticism, methods of analysis, the relation of criticism to the market, the impact of criticism on artists’ reputations. Concerns over the independence and integrity of art criticism in the context of the recent boom market will be discussed.

  • Lecture 11 (Afternoon): ‘Public and Site-Specific Art’

Public art explicitly raises some of the perennial questions regarding contemporary art. Who is it for? What is the audience? Who funds it? To whom is the artist accountable? How does art participate in public life? Urban renewal has recently incorporated the visual arts as something contributing to the amenity of public space. At the same time, concerns over the displacement of population and renovation of older neighbourhoods have made some suspicious of art’s role. Recent controversies over the destruction of public art works have left many sceptical as to the possibility of a popular, public art.

  • Tutorial 11 (Afternoon): ‘Public Art’.

We will ask what are the necessary forms that public art takes in NYC. What are the alternatives, if any? More recently New Yorkers have witnessed a new type of public art project, ephemeral but very dramatic.

Day 20: Thursday 30 June: New York
  • Site Visit 10: Chelsea 3
  • Site Visit: The Met Breuer

We continue our exploration of Chelsea galleries, focusing on the emerging area to the south of Chelsea, the Meatpacking District and Greenwich Village.

We also visit the newly opened Met Breuer Museum.

Day 21: Friday 1 July: New York – Independence Day
  • Site Visit 11 (Morning): Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum has a great collection and features major contemporary art exhibitions, but is rarely visited by tourists. Brooklyn is where many artists live; the city was colonized by artists in search of cheap studios in the late-1980s. Recently, a number of artist-run and independent galleries opened there, creating a new circuit, and acting as feeders to the SoHo/Chelsea economy.

Day 22: Saturday 2 July: New York
  • Site-Visit 12 (Morning): Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (uptown).

The Guggenheim was founded as a museum of modern art, but has made a dramatic transition to a museum that is highly entrepreneurial and focused on contemporary art. It has also pioneered the idea of franchising itself and its brand around the world. The Guggenheim is located in a late modernist masterpiece built by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Day 23: Sunday 3 July: New York
  • Independent study day. No Scheduled activities

The next three days are allocated to permit study and writing-up of the first essay. Students are to gather resources for their larger second research essay, utilizing NYC’s libraries. Students may consider also planning their own side-trip to Washington D.C. or plan another overnight excursion.

Day 24: Monday 4 July: New York
  • No scheduled activities.

Students are to gather resources for their independent research essay, utilizing NYC’s libraries. Students will be writing essay 1 and gathering material and notes for the larger essay 2.

Day 25: Tuesday 5 July: New York
  • Independent study day. No scheduled activities.

Students are to gather resources for their independent research essays, utilizing NYC’s libraries. Students will be writing essay 1 and gathering material and notes for the larger essay 2.

Day 26: Wednesday 6 July: New York
  • Site Visit 13 (Afternoon): Whitney Museum of American Art.

Consolidating earlier site visits and classes, we will visit a museum that collects and presents national contemporary art. In addition, we will consider the versions of American identity presented in the museum’s displays.

Day 27: Thursday 7 July: New York
  • Independent study day. No scheduled activities.

Students are to gather resources for their research essays, utilizing NYC’s libraries. Students will be writing essay 1 and gathering material and notes for the larger essay 2.

Day 28: Friday 8 July: New York
  • Lecture 12 (Morning): ‘Curatorial Practices’.

The curator operates in a flexible and ambiguous position. On the one hand, the curator adopts the interpretative role of the critic; on the other, the institutional clout of the museum. At the same time, the curator must act as both connoisseur and publicity agent. This session will trace the rise of the curator in the post-war years, explore the varieties of curatorial positions available, and consider recent curatorial controversies.

  • Tutorial 12 (Morning): ‘Curatorial Practices’

Readings for this tutorial focus on a case study of an individual curated exhibition, outlining the taste and intentions of the curator and the context within which these are articulated. The case study will be the curating of the 2006, the 2010 and the 2012 Whitney Biennials of American Art. The activities of the curator demonstrate the processes by which art makes the transition from studio, to exhibition space, to history. Responses to the curators’ activities demonstrate a range of expectations regarding the role and power of the curator.

  • Combined Lecture and Tutorial 13 (Afternoon): ‘The Top Ten’

Discussion on NYC experience. Students will bring their Top Ten written summaries and slide presentations to class.

Day 29: Saturday 9 July: New York
  • No scheduled activities.

Students will be writing essay 1 and gathering material and notes for the larger essay 2.

Day 30 Sunday 10 July: New York
  • No scheduled activities.
  • Submission of essay 1.
Day 31 Monday 11 July: Depart New York
  • Morning Briefing: Exit

Participants returning to Australia at the conclusion of the course will transfer to the airport for the return flight. You are scheduled to arrive back into Australia on Wednesday 13 July 2016.


31 days in New York

International House is located near Columbia University, at 500 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10027-3916.
It offers single student rooms (no air-conditioning) with shared facilities (separate male and female bathrooms) on each floor. All rooms are basic and simply furnished, providing a dresser, bookcase, desk with lamp and chair, bed, blanket, sheets, pillow and case, towels and curtains. Some rooms have sinks. Telephones are provided; access to telephone services beyond the internal system will incur additional charges. There is internet access in each room. The average room size is 2.4 x 3.4 metres (8′ x 11′). A limited number of single and twin guest suites with private facilities and air-conditioning are available at an additional cost. At International House students have a private mail box and access to incoming faxes. Students will have access to the computer centre which includes internet access. For further information on International House, refer to their website:

How to book

Applications & Enrolments

To make a reservation on this course, please send Australians Studying Abroad a deposit of $500.00 per person together with a completed & signed ASA Reservation Form. Please note that these charges and deposits are not tuition fees and are travel and tour charges, and do not replace HELP or other normal student fees. ASA is arranging your travel and tour; the University is responsible for all academic matters.

You will be notified shortly afterwards whether you have been selected to participate in the subject.

  • If you have not been selected you will be given the option of having your name put on a waiting list for a possible second round offer.
  • If you have been selected your reservation is subject to the understanding that you will be undertaking this course as originally indicated on your ASA Reservation Form. In the event that you fail to enrol in this subject under the category you have indicated, then ASA reserves the right to cancel your reservation.

In addition to fulfilling ASA’s requirements, all participants must be accepted to enrol in either AHIS30002 ‘Contemporary Art Abroad’ (the subject name under which this course will be offered in 2016 if you are a third year student), or Advanced Studying Contemporary Art Abroad (the subject name to enrol if a fourth or fifth year student) at the University of Melbourne. Please read the following enrolment options carefully. Application forms and further information are available from the Faculty of Arts.


Participants currently enrolled in an award course at the University of Melbourne:

  • Enrol in the subject according to the requirements of your course, if you want the subject to count as credit towards your current degree/diploma. Normal prerequisites for the subject are required. Standard CSP or course fees apply.


  • Enrol in the subject as an ‘assessed’ Community Access Program (CAP) subject if you wish to complete assessment and receive a result for the subject, but do not want it to count as credit towards your current degree. As an ‘assessed’ CAP student you will receive an official academic result for the subject which may be credited towards future award courses. Selection through ‘assessed’ CAP is subject to departmental approval and normal prerequisites are required. CAP course fees apply.


  • Enrol in the subject as a ‘non-assessed’ Community Access Program (CAP) subject if you do not wish to undertake academic assessment. Selection through non-assessed CAP is subject to departmental approval, but no prerequisites are required. CAP course fees apply.


Participants currently enrolled in an award course at another university:

  • Enrol in one of the two subjects as a cross-institutional Complementary Course (subject to the approval of both universities) if you want the subject to count as credit towards your current degree. Standard prerequisites and (home-institution) CSP or course fees apply. For further information see:


Participants not currently enrolled in an award course:

  • Enrol in one of the two subjects as an ‘assessed’ Community Access Program (CAP) subject if you wish to complete assessment and receive a result for the subject. As an ‘assessed’ CAP student you will receive an official academic result which is available for credit should you subsequently gain admission into an award course at the University of Melbourne. Selection through ‘assessed’ CAP is subject to departmental approval and normal prerequisites are required. CAP course fees apply.


  • Enrol in one of the two subjects as a ‘non-assessed’ Community Access Program (CAP) subject if you do not wish to undertake academic assessment. Selection through non-assessed CAP is subject to departmental approval, but no prerequisites are required. CAP course fees apply.

CAP Fees

The CAP fees for 2015 were:

  • CAP Assessed Fee: $2100.00 AUD
  • CAP Non-Assessed Fee: $1052.00 AUD

Click her for CAP 2015 brochure

This may change. Students should check with the University what the 2016 charge will be.
This is in addition to the cost of the program. Students are advised to contact the CAP office for updated information relating to CAP fees.


Melbourne GLOBAL Scholarships

Melbourne Global Scholarships have been available for undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students undertaking approved overseas study in previous years. A Melbourne Global Scholarship provides a one-off payment to assist students in meeting basic travel costs when studying overseas. It is a competitive award and awarded on the basis of academic merit. The scholarship is estimated at $1000.00 for a course of less than 12 weeks and $2500 for a course of 12 weeks or more. Students should check to see the current amount offered. To be eligible:

Undergraduate students, including honours students, must have:

  • completed, or be about to complete, at least 75 points and at least one year of study at the University of Melbourne at the time of application;
  • their study program approved for credit or to meet a hurdle requirement, towards their University of Melbourne degree, by their faculty(s); and an overall weighted average of at least 70%.

Postgraduate coursework students must have:

  • completed, or be about to complete, at least 50 points and at least one semester of study at the University of Melbourne in the degree for which they will be seeking credit on exchange at the time of application; and
  • an overall weighted average of at least 70%.
What is an Approved Course of Study?

Any study for which you have sought and gained the support of your faculty/school/department for credit to your degree is considered an approved course of study

How to Apply

Scholarship applications must be made on a Melbourne Global Scholarship application form available from your student centre.

Application Closing Dates

Be aware that applications for students travelling between 1 May and 1 November 2016 will normally close in early 2016. While it is likely that the Scholarships program will run in the same form in 2016, please note that this cannot be guaranteed.

For further information please contact the Melbourne Scholarships Office (undergraduate)
Click here for Melbourne Global Scholarship details

Gallery Tour Map
Physical Endurance & Practical Information
Physical Rating

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA programs relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, six to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

These two 31-day subjects involve:
  • accommodation at International House. It offers single student rooms (no air-conditioning) with shared facilities (separate male and female bathrooms) on each floor.
  • an extensive amount of walking and use of public transport
  • porterage is not included; participants MUST be able to carry their own luggage.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA programs should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant or Professor Green whether this is a suitable subject for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s/Prof. Charles Green’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the program, and that ASA/Prof. Charles Green retain the sole discretion to direct a participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the program. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form. It is a condition of travel that students notify Prof. Green and ASA at the time of applying, of any medical conditions, or treatment for any chronic condition, mental or physical, of any kind, that might in any way affect participation during the tour.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers see:

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $7890.00 Course Price including return airfare with Qantas

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Return airfare, economy class with Qantas and American Airlines as follows:

QF 093 11JUN Melbourne – Los Angeles 0915 0635
QF 011 11JUN Los Angeles – New York (JFK) 0820 1640
QF 012 11JUL New York (JFK) – Los Angeles 1810 2105
QF 096 11JUL Los Angeles – Melbourne 2335 0800+2

  • Accommodation at International House in single student rooms, shared facilities
  • Meal Card (to the value of $200.00US)
  • Airport transfers (if travelling on group flights as indicated above)
  • Coach travel on excursion to Dia Beacon
  • One month Metcard covering buses and subways
  • Academic program as outlined in the itinerary
  • Entrances to museums, galleries etc as outlined in the tour itinerary
  • Course handbook
  • International House Computer/Technology access.
Course Price does not include:
  • Meals other than those provided using the Meal Card (see above)
  • Personal spending money
  • Luggage in excess of 20 kg (44lbs)
  • Porterage
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfer if not returning to Australia on the group flights
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Applicable CSP or CAP fees.
Terms & Conditions

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA program.

Confirmation of Your Booking

When we have received your ASA Course Reservation Application Form together with the deposit or full payment for the tour, and assuming there is a place available on the program, we will send you confirmation of your booking and relevant travel details. It is from this moment that a firm contract exists between you and Australians Studying Abroad Pty Ltd (hereafter called ASA) on the basis of this itinerary, together with ASA’s general brochure, and any brochure or itinerary amendments communicated to you, these booking conditions and the travel details sent to you. If a place is not available we will return your payment. ASA does however reserve the right to refuse to accept a booking without necessarily giving a reason.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • $500.00 deposit – non refundable
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Program

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the program, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Course Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a program is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates or airfare taxes ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA program is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

If The University of Melbourne Cancels the Course

In the event the academic program be cancelled as a result of the University of Melbourne, in response to Federal Government travel advice, designating the locations of the program to be unsafe: participants will be charged the cancellation fees as indicated in these booking conditions (refer to the paragraph ‘Cancellation Fees’).

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Passport Details

All participants must provide no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the program a photocopy of the front page of their current passport.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA. ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies. ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider. ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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or alternatively Download PDF Reservation Application