About the Gallery
Located in a town house on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Main
Gallery is an intimate environment for viewing exhibitions. The Main
Gallery presents two exhibitions annually, curated by members of
the faculty, staff, or curatorial consultants with specialized expertise.
These exhibitions consider issues and ideas that exist largely outside the
established canons of art history. For example, the BGC has organized
monographic exhibitions that examined specific architect-designers
and thematic ones addressing the role of women in the history of 20thcentury
design. Other exhibitions have revealed the meaning of objects
as signifiers of various cultural and national identities.
The Main Gallery is also a showcase for exhibitions organized collaboratively
with museums in New York City, including the Metropolitan
Museum of Art, the New-York Historical Society, and the American
Museum of Natural History. Students in our MA and PhD programs
are involved in these projects, whose overall aim is to break down
some of the traditional barriers between academic and curatorial
forms of inquiry and knowledge. Periodically, the Main Gallery is also
a venue for traveling exhibitions that further our mission of exploring
the material world.
The Focus Gallery
With the opening of the Focus Gallery, we will expand our commitment to imagining new ways of exhibiting objects and developing an exhibition practice that may enrich scholarly discourse. This initiative connects object studies and exhibition practice directly with the intellectual pursuits of our faculty. Here, members of our faculty, as well as graduate students working in different disciplines—from anthropology to design history and the history of material culture, among others—will be able to use the format of the temporary exhibition to convey the central argument of their scholarship. Each exhibition will be the tangible culmination of a seminar offered in the BGC’s MA and PhD program. Focus Gallery exhibitions are organized twice a year, in accordance with the academic calendar.
As an essential component of each exhibition, the BGC presents lectures, conversations, gallery talks, study days, collection visits, concerts and other programs featuring renowned scholars, curators, artists, architects, and designers. Special programs are offered for schools and educators, including curriculum-based tours, outreach visits, and professional development days. Family days, senior programs, and in-depth tours of each exhibition are also available, guided by BGC educators and graduate student docents.
Since 1996 the BGC has published catalogues in collaboration with Yale University Press. Our extensive backlist—42 titles—has received international acclaim. The goal of the BGC publication venture is to document and contextualize the exhibitions in the Main Gallery.
Beginning in September 2010, the BGC will have a second publishing arm, which will focus on exhibitions that originate in the Focus Gallery. These publications will contain essays by the exhibition curator and contributions by graduate students.
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