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December at the BGC

This month, we are thrilled to announce a major grant from the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts. In addition, we are pleased to once again host an NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers. 

Read on to learn more about our activities, and we hope you will consider a year-end contribution towards the BGC Scholarship Fund. Click here for details.    

BGC Receives $1,000,000 Grant
The Bard Graduate Center is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant of $1 million by the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts to establish the Center’s first named institute.  Read more.
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BGC Gallery
In the Main Gallery
Circus and the City, New York 1793-2010
September 21, 2012 to February 3, 2013

From the seminal equestrian displays of the late eighteenth century through the iconic late nineteenth-century American railroad circus to the nouveau circuses of today, Circus and the City: New York, 1793–2010 uses New York City as the lens through which to explore the history of the circus. Photographs, prints, wood carvings, toys, books, and posters are among the over two hundred objects and ephemera on display. Read More.

In the Press
Read about the Circus on the Paris Review  and the Huffington Post websites.  

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In the Focus Gallery
The Islands of BenoƮt Mandelbrot: Fractals, Chaos, and the Materiality of Thinking
September 21, 2012 - January 27, 2013

Focusing primarily on the work of one of the most notable mathematicians of the twentieth century, The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot: Fractals, Chaos, and the Materiality of Thinking, explores the role of images in the development of what has become known as fractal geometry and chaos theory. Read More.   

In the Press
The book accompanying the exhibition is listed among the top art books in the 2012 New York Times Holiday Gift Guide

Gallery Holiday Schedule
Tuesday, December 25 (closed)
Wednesday, December 26 (closed)
Tuesday, January 1 (closed)

Visit the Gallery, and while you're here
purchase a beautiful set of reproduction
Christmas cards, on sale now!

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Gallery Programs
Upcoming Events
P. T. Barnum and Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Confluence of Influence
Thursday, December 6, 2012, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Gregory Volk will explore the surprising ways in which the work of both men is reflected in 19th and 20th-century art and spectacle. Read more.  

Practical Fractals: Chaos Theory in Architecture and Design with Paola Antonelli and Jimena Canales
Thursday, December 13, 6 - 8 pm  
Paola Antonelli and Jimena Canales will explore the impact of Mandelbrot’s elegant theories on architecture and design as they apply to the common problems of everyday life. Read more

Modern Magician: Calder’s Circus and the Invention of the Mobile
Tuesday, December 20, 6 - 8 pm
Jed Perl and Joan Simon will discuss the artistic milieu in which Calder created his Circus and its status as an essential work of the modern imagination, which combined the high-wire excitement of the circus and the poetics of experimental puppetry, setting the stage for Calder’s invention of the mobile in the 1930s. Read more. 

Herma Nootics, the Clown: An Idiosyncratic History of Circus Clowning
Thursday, January 10, 6 - 8 pm
David Carlyon will discuss once-famous clowns, including Dan Rice, Emmett Kelly, and Otto Griebling, as he explores the reciprocal relationships between clowns and their culture. Read more 

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Research Institute
NEH Summer Institute, July 2013
We are pleased to announce that the Bard Graduate Center will be hosting a four-week NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers on American Material Culture in July 2013. The institute will focus on the material culture of the nineteenth century and use New York as its case study. We will study significant texts in the scholarship of material culture in tandem with visits to some of the wonderful collections in and around New York City for hands-on work with artifacts. 

For the application materials and more information, visit: The application deadline is March 4, 2013

David Jaffee, Project Director
Katrina London, Project Administrator

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Playing with Modernism: Historical Perspectives on Children and Design
The symposium, “Playing with Modernism: Historical Perspectives on Children and Design,” took place on November 16 in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition, Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000. Read more
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Upcoming Seminars
The Seminar Series has made the Bard Graduate Center a major venue for advanced intellectual discussion in New York City and an expression of the range of methods and approaches for studying the cultural history of the material world. The seminars function in counterpoint with course offerings to present to our students the possible scope of their own research and future work. 

Seminar in Comparative Medieval Material Culture (China, Islam, Europe) 
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 6 to 8 pm 
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street

Aden Kumler
Art History, University of Chicago
“The Ordeals of Substance: Material Economies of Passion and Probation in the Middle Ages”

RSVP is required. Please reserve your place at or contact

Museum Conversations
Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 6 to 8 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street

Jeffrey Quilter
William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University 
“Archaeology, Museums, and Tourism in Contemporary Peru”

RSVP is required. Please reserve your place at or contact

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Degree Programs
Behind the Scenes
Blog: Learning From Things: Behind the Scenes at the BGC
Keep up-to-date on the myriad activities of BGC faculty, students, and staff with the blog of Elena Pinto Simon, dean of Academic Administration and Student Affairs  —  "Learning from Things: Behind the Scenes at the BGC"  

Recent entries include conversations with professors Deborah Krohn and Paul Stirton. Read more.

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