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Title: Tate Liverpool as a force for social renewal? : a critical study of art museum education, expansion and urban change (1988-2008)
Author: McKane, Antoinette
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents the research undertaken for an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award between Tate Liverpool and the University of Liverpool's Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts. By making use of the direct access to unpublished institutional records and original observations of contemporary practice permitted by this collaboration, this thesis aims to provide insight into, and enhance understanding of, the specific social relations created and maintained by Tate Liverpool, both within and beyond the museum, throughout its history. The first section of the thesis begins with two accounts of Tate's institutional history. Chapter one presents the rationale behind the founding of Tate Liverpool in the 1980s, by considering the establishment of the Liverpool branch in relation to a much longer history of expansions to Tate's original Millbank site. Chapter two presents a history of Tate Liverpool's educational practice, from 1988 to 2008, by documenting the establishment of a constructivist learning methodology at the museum and the development of several education programme strands throughout the first two decades of operation. The accounts of Tate's institutional history are supplemented, in the same thesis section, by two contextual chapters intended to form the socio-political backdrop for the preceding institutional histories. Chapter three offers a context for understanding the social significance of Tate Liverpool's founding, by examining the wider circumstances surrounding the museum's arrival in Liverpool amid a period of tumultuous urban change resulting from the decline of Liverpool's traditional industries. Chapter four provIdes a backdrop for understanding Tate Liverpool's development throughout its first twenty years, by considering the significant characteristics of the distinctly neoliberal governance of national cu Itural institutions throughout this time. The second section of the thesis draws on the information provided in the preceding historical accounts and contextual studies to offer a critical assessment of Tate Liverpool's educational practice and the museum's role in urban change. This assessment is undertaken across the last three chapters of the thesis. Chapter five offers a critical case study of a recent example of Tate Liverpool's integrated educational-curatorial practice, by examining the planning, implementation and reception of the exhibition The Fifth Floor: Ideas Taking Space (2008). Chapter six undertakes a broader historical critique of the museum's educational methodology and the practice of classifying the public according to learner categories. Chapter seven provides a critical assessment ofTate Liverpool's role in urban change, by analyzing the distinctly postmodern aspects of the museum's display practices, architecture and position on Tate Liverpool's iconic Albert Dock.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available