Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization - MGES


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.

 MGES 600 - Orientation and Practicum (3 credits)

Scheduled fourteen days prior to Fall semester start date, this on-campus residency provides an introduction to and fundamentals for the entire program of study, and initiates network development. This intensive course includes a one-day program orientation, practicum instruction in on-site gallery and studio classroom settings, field trips, and workshops with arts professionals. Prerequisite: acceptance into the MGES graduate program.

 MGES 601 - Gallery Principles I (3 credits)

Professional careers in the contemporary gallery world require a number of practical skills. This course addresses those demands by building upon fundamentals covered in the summer practicum, with in-depth practical explorations of design, installation, preparatorship and the management of the gallery space and contemporary art exhibits. Prerequisite: MGES 600.

 MGES 602 - Gallery Principles II (3 credits)

Professional careers in gallery administration are increasingly complex and demanding. A key aspect of building and growing successful art galleries or museums is professional relationships. This course principally focuses on professional relationships and relationship building in the contemporary art world: artists, patrons, collectors, diverse artists, audiences, and stake-holders.

Prerequisite: MGES 601.

 MGES 612 - Business Principles I (3 credits)

Considerable planning, entrepreneurship, and bureaucratic skill are required in the building and development of successful for-profit or non-profit art galleries. This course addresses entrepreneurial approaches and business models, mission relevance, recruitment, governance, development, procurement, staffing, budget and finances, for-profit and not-for-profit business registration, and compliance with multiple policies and laws.

Prerequisite: MGES 600.

 MGES 613 - Business Principles II (3 credits)

Gallery administrators must be adept in all aspects of management, including marketing and promotion and leading and managing staff and volunteers, to grow successful for-profit and not-for-profit galleries. Students in this class learn how to gain market share through innovations in gallery marketing, and managerial skills enabling them to effectively manage human resources, in the art gallery and museum sector.

Prerequisite: MGES 612. 

 MGES 621 - Curatorship Principles I (3 credits)

This course examines curatorial scholarship and practices that underpin collections development, research and analysis, and the exhibition process, and relates those to the evolving roles of galleries and museums in contemporary society. Subjects covered in the class include collections development, object-based research, exhibition development and analysis, and curatorial approaches to tangible and intangible heritage.

Prerequisite: MGES 600.

 MGES 622 - Curatorship Principles II (3 credits)

This course explores the roles and responsibilities of contemporary curators as investigators, negotiators, and mediators in gallery and museum environments. Students engage in dialogue and debate about ethical questions relating to acquisitions, access, ownership, copyright, knowledge systems, exhibition themes, new digital technologies, international collaborations and partnerships, and the integration of new scholarship and ideas with traditional curatorial skills.

Prerequisite: MGES 621.

 MGES 631 - Curating the Past (3 credits)

Archeological research relies upon sound curatorial practice; curatorship is often the only tangible evidence of cultural heritage for some peoples and most collections are in the public trust. This class explores those responsibilities through engaging with archeological and cultural materials curation: technical information, laws and regulations, case studies, archeological or anthropological exhibition process, integration of theory and practice.

Prerequisite: MGES 600.

 MGES 691 - Capstone Project (MGES) (3 credits)

An art gallery or art museum proposal, including: research, theoretical application, considerations for location, audience and demographics, thoughtful application of aesthetic and branding/identity considerations, detailed designs for the space and exhibits employing CAD, compliances with applicable laws and regulations, staffing plan, marketing plan, and community building strategies.

Prerequisites: completion of all program coursework (excluding internship).

 MGES 691 - Special Topics in Art Exhibits (3 credits)


 MGES 698 - Independent Internship (MGES) (0 credits)

Independent internships are arranged by students at their choice of gallery, museum, or arts institution, to develop their professional experience and network. Independent internships may be recorded on student transcripts with a 0-credit S/U grade. Independent internships must meet a minimum of three documented program learning outcomes to be recorded on transcripts.

Prerequisite: approval by the program director.

 MGES 699 - Program Internship MGES (3 credits)

The MGES program requires three credits of internship residency at one arranged external internship site. Program internship placements are crafted with our partnering institutions to address distinctive career paths and learning experiences. Students may arrange with the program director to undertake their program internship at a gallery, museum, or art institution in their vicinity or elsewhere.

Prerequisites: 15 credits of program coursework and program director approval.

The Master in Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization (MGES) is a fully-accredited, professional terminal degree specifically focused on preparing graduates for professions in the art business, including: galleries, museums, auction houses, and art fairs. The program concentrates particularly on the core process of staging exhibitions (design, logistics, installation, curatorship, and marketing). Western's MGES curriculum emphasizes the development of practical, intellectual, managerial, and entrepreneurial skills necessary to thrive in the highly competitive International Art World.

The MGES offers a “hybrid” low-residency learning environment of online courses, combined with residencies in both the program practicum on the Western campus and an arranged internship at an art gallery or museum. In addition to the summer on-campus practicum, the program also offers study and professional development sessions in New York and Paris, where students can experience the international art market up close. The structure emphasizes flexibility in order to provide a tailored education to students who are also simultaneously professionally employed in the art world and would prefer to remain resident where they currently live and work while they pursue their graduate degree. For International students, visas to study as a resident student at our campus can be arranged. 

Apply to MGES     Request Information about MGES

Accepting Applications until July 1, 2017. International Students should apply by April 1, in order to begin Visa applications. 

Master in Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization

For MGES program credit and course requirements, please click on the "Course Requirements" link in the upper left hand menu.

Master in Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization, Curatorship, Installation, Museums, Galleries, Sales

Program Goals:

  • Cultivating an understanding of the demanding professional world of gallery management and especially the unique set of skills necessary to stage successful exhibitions, including practical, intellectual, managerial, and entrepreneurial solutions to challenges faced.
  • Developing students’ capacity for inter-disciplinary critical thinking, innovation, and collaborative problem-solving with diverse stake-holders in the high-pressure atmosphere of staging exhibitions at art venues. 
  • Enhancing career opportunities for our graduates through a rigorous academic curriculum complemented with hands-on professional experiences that can prepare someone for careers in galleries, museums, auction houses, and art fairs.

Students in the Master of Arts in Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization
Student Outcomes

Graduates of the MGES program will be able to:

  • Integrate previous related academic studies, experience, and interests with the education and professional training of this degree program.
  • Effectively support the realistic demands of arts/gallery management, in both the artistic and the business dimensions of the field, in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
  • Be fully proficient as exhibits specialists for art and related exhibits, including a wide variety of contemporary, historic, and antique art objects, in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
  • Plan, develop and execute gallery and exhibit design and layout, synthesizing and implementing knowledge of aesthetic and design principles, theory and best practices, design tools and technology, and relevant federal and state laws and regulations.
  • Continue to develop knowledge and experience in areas of interest beyond graduation, implementing the program readings, tools, and educational materials.

Program Prerequisites

  • Master in Gallery Management and Exhibits Specialization, Curatorship, Installation, Museums, Galleries, Sales
    A BA or BFA degree
    required before attending first semester in MGES Program.
  • Evidence of a program of studies (major or minor, or extensive course work – 9 or more courses) must be demonstrated in one of the following or related disciplines:
    • Studio Art
    • Art History
    • Marketing/Business/Entrepreneurship
    • Non-Profit Leadership
    • Culture Studies
    • History
    • Anthropology/Archeology
    • Gallery Management or Museum Studies

Admissions Criteria

Art Installation - Master of Arts in Gallery Management at Western
A holistic package balancing academic excellence with experience in arts leadership is encouraged. Admissions packages will include:

  1. Transcripts showing a recommended 3.0 undergraduate GPA or above in relevant courses.
  2. An eight hundred-to-one thousand word personal statement describing the applicant’s experience and career interests in the art, gallery, museum, and/or cultural heritage sector, and commitment to the arts or cultural heritage.
  3. A writing sample of eight-ten pages.
  4. Three letters of recommendation from professors or supervisors in related fields.

Apply now for acceptance into Western's MGES

This program is Colorado Commission of Higher Education and HLC approved. 


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Faculty & Staff


MGES Instructor; SUNY Purchase College, Instructor
B.A. SUNY/Binghamton, M.A. SUNY/Binghamton, Ph.D. CUNY
Office Location:
Lecturer in Anthropology, MGES Instructor
B.A., University of Texas at Austin; M.A., Washington State University; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin.
Phone: (970) 943-2222
Office Location: Hurst Hall 031A
MGES Consultant and Internship Supervisor; Art Historian and Consultant; Principal: Kerry Mason and Associates; Instructor in Canadian and Northwest Coast Art, University of Victoria and Victoria College of Art
B.A., M.A., French Certificate, University of Victoria
Office Location:
MGES Instructor; New Hampshire Institute of Art, Instructor
B.F.A. SUNY Purchase College, M.F.A. Vermont College of Fine Art
Office Location:
Art Department Chair, Program Director: Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization (MGES); Professor of Art - Art History
B.A., M.A., University of Victoria; Ph.D., University of Texas-Austin.
Phone: (970) 943-3031
Office Location: Quigley 231
MGES Instructor
B.F.A. West Virginia University; M.F.A., University of North Carolina.
Phone: (970) 943-2004
Office Location: Escalante Terrace 205
Grosland Associate Director, Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization; Art Department Gallery Director; MGES Instructor
BA Oberlin College, MA, PhD Central European University
Phone: 970.943.2285
Office Location: Quigley Hall 230