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October at the BGC

Our two exhibitions — William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain  in our Main Gallery and An American Style: Global Sources for New York Textile and Fashion Design, 1915–1928 in our Focus Gallery — have opened and the early press is fabulous.

Read on to learn more about the activities of our research institute and exhibition-related gallery programs.  Also, we offer news about the accomplishments of our alumni: this month our spotlight is on Marlyn Musicant, senior exhibitions coordinator at the Getty Research Institute, who received her MA in 2002.

BGC Gallery
Main Gallery
Through February 9, 2014

Featuring elaborate drawings for architecture, gardens, and sculpture, along with furniture, silver, paintings, illustrated books, and new documentary films, William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, is the first major exhibition to examine the life and career of one of the most influential designers in eighteenth-century Britain.   Read more. 

In the press: 

Design at Home, in Gardens, Up Walls
by Eve Kahn, The New York Times, September 6, 2013

He leapt the fence and created English taste
Art Newspaper, October 2013

English Mantelpieces at Carlton Hobbs
by Wendy Moonan, 1st Dibs, Septemebr 2013 

‘Designing Georgian Britain’ Explores William Kent’s Oeuvre
Antiques and The Arts Weekly, October 1, 2013

Both William Kent and An American Style will be featured on  NYC-Arts throughout the month of October. The show airs on Thursday nights at 8 pm on Channel Thirteen in New York City (visit their website for other times and stations).  Be sure to watch Philippe deMontebello's interview with Susan Weber on October 31. 

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Focus Gallery
An American Style: Global Sources for New York Textile and Fashion Design, 1915–1928
Through February 2, 2014

This remarkable exhibition examines the efforts of the American Museum of Natural History to educate and inspire New York textile and fashion designers during and after World War I. Featured are rare textiles and garments ranging from a 1920’s hand-batiked caftan-style dress and mass-market hand-blocked silks to native American and other indigenous dress.  Also included are never-before-seen photographs, objects, and design manuals. Read more.

In the Press

All that glitters: New exhibit puts Jazz Age style front and center

by Alexandra Villarreal, Columbia Spectator, September 26, 2013

On View | The Natural History of American Design
by Erica Bellman, T Magazine Blog, New York Times, September 27, 2014

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Gallery Programs
Rebecca Allan, Head of Education, reports on last week's Gallery Programs: Read more.
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Upcoming Gallery Programs
Saturday, October 12: 1 to 4 pm
Family Day: Topiary Garden Dance! 
Read more and register

Monday, October 28: 11 to 3:30 pm
Open House for Seniors
Read more and register

Thursday, October 31: 6 to 8 pm
Rousham: Sitting in and Sauntering through a Pleasure Ground
Read more and register

Friday Gallery Talks 
Complimentary guided tours are offered every Friday at 12:30 p.m. Free with gallery admission ($7/$5).

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Degree Programs
Fall Open Houses for Prospective Students
We think that one of the most useful ways to get a sense of the work that goes on at the BGC is for prospective students to attend one of our open houses in the fall. Hosted by the dean of our school, Professor Peter N. Miller, our chair, Professor Jeffrey Collins, and Dean for Academic Administration and Student Affairs, Elena Pinto Simon, a BGC Open House presents inquirers with the opportunity to hear about work of the BGC, to listen to faculty talk about their methodological approaches, and to have general questions answered about admissions and financial aid. Included in each event is a tour of our facility.

Our first Open House will take place at 38 West 86th Street in New York City on Sunday, October 13th, 2013 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The faculty panel will include Professors Peter N. Miller, François Louis, Paul Stirton, Abigail Balbale, and Catherine Whalen. Additional Open Houses will take place at 11am Sunday, November 3rd, and at 11am on Sunday, November 24th.

For more information about Open Houses and to RSVP, please visit

Graduate School Fairs
The Bard Graduate Center is on the road! Our admissions representatives are attending the following Graduate School Fairs to speak to interested students about our degree programs. 

Stanford University 
Monday, October 14, 2013
12:00 pm- 4:00 pm

University of California, Berkeley 
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
11:00 pm- 3:00 pm

University of Illinois, Chicago 
Thursday, October 17, 2013
3:00 pm-7:00 pm 

SUNY Purchase 
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
12:00 pm-3:00 pm

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Research Institute
Launch of “Conservation Conversations” and Live-streaming Project
On Tuesday, September 10, the BGC launched "Conservation Conversations," the public side of a new curricular initiative, "Cultures of Conservation," generously supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  The first event in this series was a research dialogue between David Bomford, Director of Conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Carlo Ginzburg, Franklin D. Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies at UCLA. Bomford discussed “Connoisseurship: The Rembrandt Paradigm,” and Ginzburg spoke on “Small Differences: Ekphrasis and Connoisseurship.”  Following a short response from each speaker to the other’s presentation, Dean Peter N. Miller moderated a thoughtful panel discussion of connoisseurship, pedagogy, technology, conservation, and the human sciences.

Concurrent with this, a new initiative to live-stream seminar series and symposia on the BGC's channel was also launched. This reflects our commitment to making our innovative programming more widely available, thus shaping the global discourse about the cultural history of the material world.  Visit our live-streaming page for a list of upcoming events and a video archive of previous talks at the BGC.

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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 Cultural History 
Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 6 to 8pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street

Arundhati Virmani
Centre Norbert Elias, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
“Indian Wedding Cards: Publicizing the Intimate”

RSVP is required.  Please reserve your place at or contact

The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation Seminar in New York and American Material Culture
Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 6 to 8pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street

 Ann Fabian
History and American Studies, Rutgers University
“Collecting Frogs and Toads”

RSVP is required.  Please reserve your place at or contact

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Alumni News
Meet a few of the alumni of the Bard Graduate Center—and learn about the contributions they are making beyond the classroom.  Read more.

Alumni Spotlight - Marlyn Musicant. Read more. 

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