Bard Graduate Center Renovations

After twelve months of renovations, the Main Gallery of the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, will reopen on January 26 with the exhibition Cloisonné: Chinese Enamels from the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties.  On the same date, the new Focus Gallery, devoted to small-scale exhibitions resulting from the explorations and research of faculty and students, will launch its inaugural exhibition with Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast.  The project also included a major expansion and renovation of the BGC’s library and classroom building at 36-38 West 86th Street.  Both were completed by Ennead Architects, formerly Polshek Partnership.  

An early twentieth-century townhouse, 18 West 86th Street was converted in the early 1990s to house the BGC’s fledgling programs in the decorative arts and design. The current project accommodates the significant growth of the institution and its programs and provides state-of-the-art environmental systems. Gallery spaces have been subtly reorganized and enlarged to enhance the exhibition of artwork and objects throughout the building.  The entrance lobby and other public spaces within the building have been renovated with additional space devoted to welcoming visitors. Among the features of the lobby renovation is an expanded display of BGC’s extensive collection of publications. Administrative offices have also been renovated and expanded.  Upgrades to mechanical systems provide an improved level of environmental control requisite for mounting world-class exhibitions.  Among other benefits, these more visible design efforts have resulted in the efficient layout of the seldom-seen support areas within the building, balancing the space required for operation and maintenance of the facility with the goal of increasing precious floor space for gallery use.  These improvements provide an environment that is appropriate for both sensitive works of art and the gallery’s visitors and staff.

“The renovated Main Gallery and the new Focus Gallery reflect the BGC’s role as a leading graduate research institution dedicated to the study of the decorative arts, design history, and material culture,” said, Dr. Susan Weber, Founder/Director. “In conjunction with the expansion of our academic facilities in 2009, this represents our continued commitment to creativity and technological innovation. Come visit our upcoming exhibitions and enjoy our new galleries.”

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