Your ongoing generosity enables us to pursue the highest level of teaching, research and exhibitions in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. Support our mission today.

Credit: Casey Kelbaugh.

Bard Graduate Center first opened its doors on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1993 with the vision of becoming the leading institute for the advanced study of the history of the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. Thanks to the ongoing generosity of hundreds of individuals, corporations, and foundations, that founding vision has become a reality.

In just over two decades, Bard Graduate Center has become a leader in the field and an advocate for this once underappreciated area of study. Our faculty have established innovative new ways of educating students in the discipline of decorative arts and material culture and the institution has conferred over four hundred degrees while mounting over sixty highly acclaimed exhibitions, hosting scholarly symposia, and publishing academic journals, exhibition catalogues, and research on a diverse array of subjects from cultures throughout the world from antiquity to the twenty-first century.

Bard Graduate Center alumni/ae, now over four hundred strong, are bringing BGC’s founding vision into the professional realm, assuming leadership positions at museums, universities, auction houses, and galleries throughout the world.

Become part of Bard Graduate Center’s vision. We invite you to join our expanding community of philanthropists, scholars, makers, educators, professionals, and connoisseurs of decorative arts, design history, and material culture.

You can make a tax-deductible contribution or make a pledge in any amount right now in support of the following areas:

  • Greatest Needs
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid
  • Academic Programs and Research
  • Gallery Programs and Catalogues

Other ways to support Bard Graduate Center include becoming a member of our Members Circle, Patrons Circle, Professional Council, and Iris Legacy Society, as well as joining us for the Iris Foundation Awards and other special events.

For more information you are welcome to call us at 212.501.3071 or email us at support@bgc.bard.edu.

Many thanks for your generosity!


The Iris Foundation Awards and Events

On April 5th the Bard Graduate Center, under the leadership of Dr. Susan Weber, held its Annual Iris Foundation Awards Luncheon at the Colony Club in New York City. Each year, for the past 21 years, the decorative arts, material culture and academic communities have come together to honor four outstanding members of this league who have contributed to the study and appreciation of the decorative arts. This year’s recipients include: Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship awardee, Alvar González-Palacios; Outstanding Patron, Sir Nicholas Goodison; Outstanding Dealer, Titi Halle; and Outstanding Mid-Career Scholar, Marie-Louise Bech Nosch. Their legacies help sustain the cultural heritage of our world and inspire our students to achieve their best as they become established professionals in the field. The proceeds of the Luncheon benefit the Bard Graduate Center Scholarship Fund.

About the Iris 2017 Honorees

Sir Nicholas Goodison — Outstanding Patron

Sir Nicholas Goodison is the former chairman of the London Stock Exchange and of the TSB Group. Educated at King’s College, Cambridge, from which he received a PhD in architecture and history of art, he is president of the Furniture History Society, and is former chairman of the Courtauld Institute, the National Art Collections Fund (now the Art Fund), the Crafts Council of Great Britain, and Burlington Magazine. His publications include books on English barometers 1680–1860, the gilt metalwork of Matthew Boulton, and a 2004 report for HM Treasury on private giving and government support. Since 1997 he and his wife, Judith, have donated an accumulating collection of over 100 examples of remarkable contemporary British craft to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, of which a catalogue was published in 2016.

Alvar González-Palacios — Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship

Professor Alvar González-Palacios has authored many books on Italian and French decorative arts. He taught art history at the University of Bologna and has lectured at numerous American museums as well as in England, France, Spain, and Italy. Born in Cuba, he settled in Italy in 1957 at twenty and completed his studies in the University of Florence with Roberto Longhi . His recent books include Persona e Maschera, a series of portraits of collectors, antiquarians, and art historians (Archinto, 2014); Il serraglio di pietra. La Sala degli animali in Vaticano (Città del Vaticano, 2013); and Las colecciones reales españolas de mosaicos y piedras duras (Madrid, Museo del Prado, 2001). He is currently preparing an exhibition and a monograph on Valadier to be presented at the Frick Collection in 2018 and at the Royal Palace in Madrid. He lives in Rome.

Marie-Louise Bech Nosch — Outstanding Mid-Career Scholar

Marie-Louise Nosch specializes in Aegean epigraphy and Mycenaean textile production. From 2005 to 2016, she directed the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research—a leading academic institution that promotes, expands, and consolidates textile research and trains young scholars. She has organized international conferences and workshops on textile themes and is the author of numerous papers and editor of anthologies including Ancient Textiles Series (Oxbow Books, Oxford). Among her awards are the Elite Research Award from the Ministry of Research and Technology, Denmark; the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Anneliese Maier Research Award; and she is a chevalier of the l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, France.

Titi Halle — Outstanding Dealer

Titi Halle is owner and director of Cora Ginsburg LLC. The foremost authority in historic textiles and costume, she has collected, consulted, and appraised for museums throughout the world. Halle has exhibited at major fairs in Berlin, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco and is on the vetting committees for TEFAF Maastricht and the Winter Antiques Show. A member of the Centre International d’Etudes des Textiles Anciens, the Costume Society of America, and the Textile Society of America, she is a former vice president of the National Antique and Art Dealers Association of America, has appeared on Antiques Road Show, and has lectured at museums throughout the United States. For the last twenty-two years, Cora Ginsburg LLC has published an annual scholarly catalogue that is in libraries around the world.

Making an Impact

Where BGC Resources Come From


During the academic year ending June 30, 2016, Bard Graduate Center received more than $3.5 million in contributions from over 250 private and public sources. These resources were combined with the income from endowed funds and other revenue to provide the institution with stability and the opportunity to deliver the valuable programs detailed on this website.

Sources and their percentage of total raised/earned.

Endowed Funds: 54%

  • Designated and general-purpose endowments
Contributions and Special Events: 28%
  • Contributed income from alumni/ae, friends, foundations, and corporations
  • Government grants
  • Income from Annual Iris Awards Luncheon and other special events

Tuition and Fees: 11%

  • Tuition
  • Application, housing, and usage fees
Other Earned Revenue: 7%
  • Publication and gallery shop sales
  • Facility and residential rentals


What BGC Resources Are Used For


In the fiscal year now completed, more than 65% of BGC resources were used for the institution’s core programs dedicated to the study and interpretation of decorative art, design history, and material culture.

Uses and their percentage of total budget.

Academic Programs: 30%
  • Faculty, curriculum expenses, programs, independent research
Gallery: 18%
  • Exhibition research, production, and publications
  • General Management and Operations: 18%
  • Maintenance, security, technology, website, design, and finance
Research Activities: 6%
  • Research events, publications, fellowships
Administration and Fundraising: 13%
  • Director’s Office, Development, Human Resources, Finance and Administration
Financial Aid: 7%
  • Tuition assistance, stipends, work study
Public Programs: 5%
  • Continuing education and outreach
Residence Hall: 3%
  • Management of Bard Hall
Designating your Contribution

Bard Graduate Center is a leading research institute in the field of decorative arts, design history, and material culture. Your gift may be designated to an area of our work which is most meaningful for you.


Greatest Needs

Gifts designated to Greatest Needs are deployed on an organization-wide basis thereby giving Bard Graduate Center the flexibility to direct out resources where they will have the greatest impact. Gifts in any amount are welcome.

Named funds and endowments can be established with contributions of $10,000 or more. For more information call 212.501.3071.



Scholarships and Financial Aid

From the beginning, BGC attracted talented students who were passionate about the decorative arts and design. They are enthusiastic about enrolling in a program that offered both an intellectually challenging curriculum and practical experience. Uniting scholarly rigor with substantive internships and the opportunity to work on exhibitions in the Bard Graduate Center Gallery, our MA and PhD programs have benefited over 400 alumni—affording them unprecedented opportunities to learn, grow, and further their careers.

Our students’ success is due in no small part to the many individuals who support scholarships and financial aid. Over 75% of students at Bard Graduate Center qualify for need-based scholarship support. Your donation will help ensure that financial aid continues to be available for all students who qualify.

Named scholarship funds and named fellowships can be established with contributions of $10,000 or $30,000. For more information call 212.501.3071.




Academic Programs and Research

Gifts designated to Academic Programs and Research ensure that Bard Graduate Center maintains an innovative and rigorous curriculum led by the highest caliber faculty. These gifts also support critically important resources for research including a digital media lab; a research library with access to hundreds of academic journals; and numerous public forums for the presentation and distribution of the research conducted by students, faculty, and visiting scholars.

Named funds and endowed professorships are available. For more information call 212.501.3071.



Exhibitions and Catalogues

Bard Graduate Center is recognized for its acclaimed exhibitions and catalogues that bring together ground-breaking research in the fields of decorative arts and material culture with the highest standards of exhibition design.

More than sixty exhibitions have been presented at Bard Graduate Center Gallery since its founding in 1993. Ranging in subject from Chinese cloisonné to contemporary design and craft in Colombia, and William Kent’s Georgian style to the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. Our shows delve deeply into the history of material culture throughout the world.

Designating gifts to Exhibitions and Catalogues supports Bard Graduate Center’s exhibitions from conception through realization including the catalogues.

Corporate and Individual Sponsorships are available starting at $5,000. Sponsor benefits include the following:

  • Visibility opportunities on website, on-site signage, and printed materials
  • Invitations to the opening events
  • Invitations to related exhibitions and symposia
  • Private exhibition tour
  • Custom benefits available

For more information call 212.501.3071.

Members Circle

As a lover of objects and an appreciator of the varied programs and activities at Bard Graduate Center, you are invited to join the Members Circle. Your support will strengthen our programs and ensure the ongoing success of Bard Graduate Center.

Levels and Benefits

$75 Level

Basic Member Benefits:

  • Free admission for you and a guest to the BGC Gallery
  • Invitation to Community Openings and member receptions
  • Advance announcements and/or discounts for select programs and gallery talks
  • 10% discount on gift items and books
  • Recognition in the Year in Review

Membership fees are fully-tax deductible


$250 Level

All Basic Member Benefits plus the following:

  • Special membership gift
  • Two issues of West 86th, BGC’s Journal of Decorative Arts

The value of benefits at the $250 level is $50


$500 Level

All Basic Member Benefits plus the following:

  • Special membership gift and a current Focus Project catalog
  • Two issues of West 86th, BGC’s Journal of Decorative Arts

The value of benefits at the $500 level is $80


$1,000 Level

All Basic Member Benefits plus the following:

  • Special membership gift and a current exhibition catalog of your choice
  • Two issues of West 86th, BGC’s Journal of Decorative Arts
  • Invitation to VIP receptions

The value of benefits at the $1000 level is $125

If you should have further queries, please feel free to call 212.501.3071 or email us at membership@bgc.bard.edu

Patrons Circle

As a lover of objects, please join us to delve deeper in the study of decorative arts, design history and material culture. Your support will ensure the success of the next generation of scholars and specialists to continue these studies.

Levels and Benefits

Member—$5,000 Inaugural Membership Gift
Premier—$10,000 Inaugural Leadership Gift
Premier Plus—$25,000+

Member Benefits:

  • Invitation to Patrons Circle Cocktail Receptions, Lectures, and Special Events
  • One complimentary ticket to the Iris Foundation Awards Luncheon
  • One complimentary ticket to the Director’s Table Dinner in NYC, an intimate dinner hosted by Dr. Susan Weber, Peter Miller, or Nina Stritzler-Levine
  • Complimentary Bard Graduate Center Gallery publication
  • Access to closed symposia and other academic programs
  • Recognition in Year in Review

Join at the Member level.

Premiere Benefits (all Member Benefits plus the following):

  • Total of two tickets to the invitation only Iris Foundation Award Dinner for honorees and special guests, as well as a total of two tickets to the Iris Foundation Awards Luncheon
  • Total of two tickets to the Director’s Table Dinner in NYC, intimate dinner hosted by Susan Weber, Peter Miller, or Nina Stritzler-Levine
  • Invitation for two guests to attend Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s Exhibition Preview & Receptions (one per year)
  • Access to exclusive Patrons Circle events outside New York City, as they are available.
  • Recognition in upcoming exhibition catalogue and on gallery wall.

Join at the Premiere level.

Premiere Plus Benefits (all Premiere Benefits plus the following):

  • Table (total of 10 tickets) to the Iris Foundation Awards Luncheon
  • Tickets to attend exclusive international museum events (pending availability and time limitations)

Join at the Premiere Plus level.

Professionals and Scholars Council

We invite professionals in the fields of decorative arts, design history and material culture, as well as interior design and architecture to join us as part of this exclusive council focused on professional development and networking. Your support will ensure the success of the next generation of scholars and specialists to continue these studies.

Levels and Benefits

Member—$1,000
Associate—$2,500
Partner—$5,000

Member Benefits:

  • Invitation for two guests to attend Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s Exhibition Previews and Receptions
  • Invitations to Bard Graduate Center’s research and academic programs including lectures and symposia
  • Invitations to talks presented by Bard Graduate Center’s faculty and staff (one to two talks per calendar year)
  • Complimentary admission to ticketed public programs
  • Advance reservations and reserved seating at public programs and lectures (advance RSVP required for reserved seating, subject to availability)
  • Complimentary passes to Bard Graduate Center Gallery for members and their guests
  • Donor Recognition in Bard Graduate Center’s Year in Review and website

Join at the Member level.

Associate Benefits:

  • Invitation for four guests to attend Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s Exhibition Previews and Receptions
  • Complimentary exhibition tours for up to 10 guests at Bard Graduate Center Gallery (advance booking required, subject to availability)
  • One complimentary ticket and access member level tickets for the Iris Foundation Awards Luncheon (a maximum of four tickets will be available at $150 per ticket)
  • Invitations to Bard Graduate Center’s research and academic programs including lectures and symposia
  • Invitations to talks presented by Bard Graduate Center’s Faculty and Staff (one to two talks per calendar year)
  • Complimentary admission to ticketed public programs (such the Seminar Series and Family Programs)
  • Advance reservations and reserved seating at public programs and lectures (advance RSVP required for reserved seating, subject to availability)
  • Donor Recognition in Bard Graduate Center’s Year in Review and website; as well as on Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s donor well and the Iris Foundation Awards event program

Join at the Associate level.

Partner Benefits:

  • Invitation for four guests to attend Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s Exhibition Previews and Receptions
  • Invitation for 2 guests to attend Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s Exhibition Opening Dinner (one per year)
  • Complimentary exhibition tours for up to 10 guests at Bard Graduate Center Gallery (advance booking required, subject to availability)
  • Invitations to Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s Curator Talks (one to two offered per exhibition, followed by small reception)
  • Two complimentary tickets and access member level tickets for the Iris Foundation Awards Luncheon (a maximum of four tickets will be available at $150 per ticket)
  • Invitations to Bard Graduate Center’s research and academic programs including lectures and symposia
  • Invitations to talks presented by Bard Graduate Center’s Faculty and Staff (one to two talks per calendar year)
  • Complimentary admission to ticketed public programs (such the Seminar Series and Family Programs)
  • Advance reservations and reserved seating at public programs and lectures (advance RSVP required for reserved seating, subject to availability)
  • Complimentary gallery/academic publications
  • Priority placement donor listing in Bard Graduate Center’s Year in Review and website; as well as on Bard Graduate Center Gallery’s donor well and in the Iris Foundation Awards event program

Join at the Partner level.

Legacy and Planned Giving at Bard Graduate Center

There is no more thoughtful investment in Bard Graduate Center’s future than a planned gift. These gifts have far-reaching effects that benefit both present and future scholars at Bard Graduate Center.


Join The Iris Legacy Society for the Decorative Arts at Bard

The Iris Legacy Society for the Decorative Arts at Bard has been established to recognize loyal alumni/ae and friends of Bard Graduate Center and Bard College who have made provisions in their estate plans designated to support graduate-level study in decorative arts, design history, and material culture at Bard Graduate Center, an independent program of Bard College. Bard Graduate Center and its mission can be supported through a donor’s will; a Charitable Gift Annuity or Trust; or an investment in Bard’s pooled income fund.

A bequest, the most common way for donors to provide for the future of Bard Graduate Center, offers several advantages including the following:

  • A donor may be able to make a larger gift than otherwise possible, the estate may save on estate taxes, and the arrangement is revocable, allowing for changes as needed.
  • You can make a bequest supporting the Bard Graduate Center by preparing a new will or revising an existing one.

Making Bard Graduate Center a beneficiary of retirement accounts, investment accounts, or insurance policies may provide benefits to the donor and their heirs.



Other ways to support BGC include:

  • Appreciated stock
  • IRA distributions
  • Gifts and partial gifts of real estate or other property
  • In-Kind donations: Bard Graduate Center has a world-class academic research library and an object lab where students can get first-hand experience learning from objects. Both the library and the object lab welcome inquiries about in-kind donations.


Gifts via wire transfers or stock:

Bard Graduate Center welcomes donations via wire transfer. For account numbers and instructions, please contact Benjamin Krevolin, Chief Advancement Officer at benjamin.krevolin@bgc.bard.edu, 212.501.3072.