Students at the Wallace Collection in London with curator Helen Jacobsen.

First-year MA students spent ten days in Paris or London in May on faculty-led study trips. Read about the trips below.
Paris
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In a tour of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs’s glass collections, students engaged in a discussion of materials and techniques with chief glass curator, Jean-Luc Olivié.
Students visited Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye in Poissy.
Students in front of Hector Guimard’s Castel Béranger in Paris.
Alumna Maude Bass-Krueger gave a tour of the exhibition she curated, “Mode et femmes, 14/18,” at the Bibliothèque Forney.
Students with a textile conservator at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
Dinner in Paris.

This year, in conjunction with our partners at the École du Louvre (EdL), twelve Bard Graduate Center MA students, our teaching assistant, Martina D’Amato, and I enjoyed a fantastic program of expert lectures and presentations by curators, academics, and some of the EdL’s advanced MA students.

In addition to museum visits and special behind-the-scenes tours, we were treated to demonstrations and discussions of conservation practices and participated in architectural walking tours. These events spanned topics ranging from the 1890s through the 1930s: Art Nouveau, Art Déco, and the more stripped-down, “functionalist” modernism of architects and designers including Robert Mallet-Stevens and Le Corbusier.

The students were inquisitive, engaged, and gracious in their interactions with our lecturers and guides, and also collaborated productively with EdL students to generate group presentations on a selection of relevant museum objects and buildings —shared on the final day of the program. Our hosts, Natacha Pernac, Academic Director of the EdL, and Hélène Barucq, in charge of International Exchange, were kind, considerate, and diligent in facilitating our entire experience in comfort and style.

Trip highlights included a fascinating presentation by Martine Kahan of the National Center for Stage Costumes, Moulins; an Art Nouveau “Promenade” to view entrances to the Paris Métro, as well as two important façades by visionary architect Hector Guimard; a special tour of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs current exhibition, Travaux des dames, as well as a dynamic tour of the museum’s glass collections and discussion of materials and techniques by chief glass curator, Jean-Luc Olivié; a visit to Bard Graduate Center alumna Maude Bass-Krueger’s innovative exhibition, Mode et femmes, 14/18 at the Bibliothèque Forney; and, finally, a private tour of Le Corbusier’s landmark Villa Savoye in Poissy on a beautiful sunny day. We all celebrated a productive trip with a sumptuous Lebanese dinner on our final evening!

~ Freyja Hartzell, Assistant Professor

London
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Students at the Wallace Collection in London with curator Helen Jacobsen.
Students and curator Helen Jacobsen at the Gilt Bronze show at the Wallace Collection in London.
Students studied objects from the jewelry collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Students in London outside the Dove Pub in Hammersmith after visiting the Emery Walker House, whose Doves Press took its name from the pub.
In Brighton.

Seven Bard Graduate Center MA students led by Deborah Krohn and accompanied by Keith Condon, director of Student Affairs and Services, enjoyed a series of bespoke curatorial tours and other unusual visits at a variety of London cultural landmarks.

As in the past, we began at the Victoria and Albert Museum with a full day that concluded with a series of short presentations by our students as well as those of the closely related V&A/RCA (Royal College of Art) MA in History of Design program. In the following days, we visited the Wallace Collection, the Soane Museum, the Wellcome Collection, Leighton House, and the Brighton Pavilion, among others.

At the British Museum, curator Dora Thornton introduced us to her beautifully installed gallery of decorative arts, the Waddesdon Bequest, which turned out to be excellent background for our trip to Waddesdon Manner in Darbyshire, guided by Ulrich Leben, furniture curator at Waddesdon and former BGC faculty member. We were privileged to visit on Waddesdon’s closed day, so Ulrich was able to take us beyond the velvet ropes to see areas of the house not usually accessible to visitors. Having also visited Kew Palace, the Dennis Severs House, and the Avery Roth house, and Osterley, we were able to see Waddesdon as one extreme on the authenticity spectrum. At Osterley, a stately Robert Adam house just south of London, Julius Bryant, Keeper of Word & Image at the V&A, lectured in the classicizing porch before we entered. It was a wonderful trip and a fantastic opportunity for all of us.

~ Deborah Krohn, Associate Professor, Director of Masters Studies