26 June to 27 July 2008

Stages and Scenes: Creating Architectural Illusion is the culmination of the first year of the new MA programme Curating the Art Museum, offered by The Courtauld Institute of Art. This exhibition, curated by the eight students on the programme, centres on the rise of the theatre as a spectacular display of wealth and power, which reached its height in 18th-century Europe. Artists used their mastery of perspective and Baroque ornament to extend the limits of the stage. The exhibition, which was on show at The Courtauld Gallery from 26 June to 27 July 2008, included prints, drawings, paintings and early books and investigated the links between theatre, architecture and art in these flamboyant times and illustrate how creative approaches to the stage reached remarkable levels of invention and excess.

  About the project

  The Exhibition

  Behind the scenes



Stages & Scenes

An introduction to the exhibition with the curators.

Watch the movie [5:03 min]

Comments from the Visitor Book

"I did not expect the subject of the exhibition to hold much appeal for me personally but I found it to be fascinating. The text panel s are superb giving an understanding and insight to the casual viewer. I am glad I chanced upon this opportunity and I am sure in future I will have a new regard for such drawings... A great achievement for the MA students and I sense they have enjoyed their past year."

"Wonderful show. More of these curated works on paper shows please! That a single collection can do justice to this sort of idea is fabulous and makes one hope that it could foster 100 more!"

"Really fantastic -- wonderful exhibits and inspiring use of thematic linking. Good textual accompaniments -- thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition!!"

"Innovative idea for an exhibition and elegantly realized."

Curating the Art Museum MA Programme

This MA programme, led by Martin Caiger-Smith, is aimed at art curators of the future.  Its purpose is to extend and develop graduates’ art historical interests, expertise and scholarship into the area of curatorship and active engagement with collections and exhibitions in the museum and gallery realm.  It puts the physical object back at the heart of curatorial training and sets specialist knowledge firmly within the context of the modern museum and the expanding remit of the art curator in the 21st century.