Course syllabus

SEMESTER 1, 2017 Course Information

  • Course delivery format
  • A two hour class session each week 
  • Time and place: Thursday 3-5pm Building 260 Room 319
  • Course Description

ARTHIST 706 Public Art: Politics and Process

ARTHIST 719 Public Art: Issues and Controversy

This course examines the politics and process around modern and contemporary public art and monuments, predominantly sculpture. Topics include: the challenges of public space, patronage, issues of nationalism and cultural identity, memorialisation (eg, war and Holocaust memorials) and the urban environment. Issues and controversies around international case studies and local practice are studied in relation to works such as Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North, The Fourth Plinth and the Princess of Wales Memorial in Hyde Park. Examples of public art are considered in relation to theories of place and space.

The first semester of the course focuses on the theory of public art and on international case studies. This semester can be taken as a single semester 15 point paper (ARTHIST719).

The second semester of the course focuses on public art in New Zealand. A history of the modern revival of public art is outlined, and particular attention is paid to work in Wellington (often billed as ‘the city of sculpture’) and Auckland. Topics include major outdoor art events such as Sculpture on the Gulf and the biennial Sculpture in the Gardens at the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens in Manurewa. The abundance of accessible public sculpture parks in the Auckland region are studied, including Brick Bay Sculpture Park and Connells Bay. Foremost of these is Alan Gibbs’ world renowned The Farm, where a private zoo of exotic animals and a collection of World War II army tanks and machinery complements a vast landscape of outdoor object and land art by major international sculptors such as Maya Lin, Richard Serra and Andy Goldsworthy.


ARTHIST706 100% Coursework (no exam)

Coursework: one seminar, one essay, one case study

ARTHIST719 100% Coursework (no exam)

Coursework: one seminar, one essay

Assessment Due Dates


Seminar Tuesday 11 April 3pm

Essay Tuesday 23 August 3pm

Case Study Tuesday 26 Sept 3pm


Seminar Tuesday 11 April 3pm

Essay Tuesday 30 May 3pm


The University of Auckland's expectation on 15-point courses, is that students spend 10 hours per week on the course. Students manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Students attend two hours of lectures each week and participate in a one-hour tutorial from week 2 of semester. This leaves seven hours per week outside the classroom to prepare for tutorials, assignments and the exam.

Deadlines and submission of coursework

Deadlines for coursework are non-negotiable. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you will be required to provide a doctor's certificate before the assignment is due. All late assignments without a pre-approved extension will be penalised one mark per day late.


Course summary:

Date Details