BGC Gallery
Gallery Programs
Academic Programs Seminar Series
Conversations with Alumni
October at the BGC

This month, we are sharing some of the wonderful press on this season's exhibitions: Circus and the City, New York 1793 - 2010 and The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot: Fractals, Chaos, and the Materiality of Thinking. 

In addition, find listings for upcoming academic seminar series and exhibition-related gallery programs, read about an exciting award opportunity open to both students and alumni, and learn about  the activities of our faculty. 

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 that will be displayed. Read More

Circus and the City in the Press
 "When Jumbo Was Toast of the Town"
by Glenn Collins, The New York Times, September 21, 2012

"P.T.Barnum’s Bearded Ladies"
by Lance Esplund, Bloomberg News, October 2, 2012

"Somers Historical Society's circus collection will put on show in NYC display"
by Christopher Vaughn, The Journal News, September 20, 2012

"'Circus and the City'” examines the big top in the Big Apple"
by Allison Williams, Time Out New York, September 17, 2012

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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 

The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot in the press

"Art in Review: "The Islands Benoît Mandelbrot: ‘Fractals, Chaos and the Materiality of Thinking’
by Ken Johnson, The New York Times, October 4, 2012

Issues in Science and Technology 
Journal published by the National Academy Press, Fall 2012, page 50

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Gallery Programs
Upcoming Events
Family Day: Cirkus in Wonderland!
Saturday, October 20, 2012; 11:00 am to 4 p.m. 
Experience death-defying feats, airborne acrobats, and slapdash comedy with Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and the Cavalcade of Youth All-Stars during a lively performance with audience participation. Read more

Drawing from My Mind’s Eye: Dorothea Rockburne in Conversation with Nina Samuel and David Cohen
Thursday, October 25, 2012; 6:00 to 8 p.m.
In this two-part series, contemporary artists whose work significantly incorporates mathematics and science will explore the role of drawing as an essential aspect of their research and practice. Read more

The Circus In America
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 6:00 to 8 p.m.
In this lecture, Susan Weber will explore how the European circus was transformed in America into an immense multimedia phenomenon that was eventually billed as the “The Greatest Show On Earth." Read more.

Glass Plates and High-diving Horses: Photographers of the American Circus
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 6:00 to 8 p.m.
In this conversation, Peter Kayafas and Luc Sante will discuss how photographers, such as Frederick W. Glasier, Weegee, and Lisette Model, revealed the public spectacle as well as the private lives of the individuals who worked for the circus. Read more.

Circus Posters: From Wood Type to “The Greatest Show on Earth”
Sunday, November 18, 2012, 2:00 to 2:45 p.m.
In this gallery talk, Paul Stirton will trace the development of the circus poster from early typographic sheets to the vivid scenes of animals and performers depicted using color lithography. Read more

Songs from the High Wire, Introduced by Leon Botstein
Sunday, November 18, 2012, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
This concert musically evokes both the familiar and the mysterious aspects of circus, including clowns, the flying trapeze, menageries, and magic shows. Richard Gordon and Robert Osborne are joined by Mary Testa for a selection of songs by Richard Rodgers, Kurt Weill, Cole Porter, and others. Read more.

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Academic Programs Seminar Series
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 17, 2012, 6 to 8 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street

Christine Göttler
Art History, University of Bern, Switzerland
“Constructing a Global Interior: The Imagery of Collections and Collecting in Early Seventeenth-Century Antwerp”

 RSVP is required.  Please reserve your place at or contact

Ravi and Seran Trehan Lectures in Islamic Art and Material Culture
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 6 to 8 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street

Yves Porter
History of Art and Archaeology, Université d’Aix-Marseille
“Potters of Kâshân (Late 12th-Early 14th c.)

 RSVP is required.  Please reserve your place at or contact

Seminar in Comparative Medieval Material Culture
Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 6 to 8 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street212.501.3019, 

Zhao Feng
Executive Director, China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou
“Silks from West and East: The Textiles from Tomb TAM170, Astana, Turfan, Xinjiang”

 RSVP is required.  Please reserve your place at or contact

Françoise and Georges Selz Lectures on 18
th- and 19th-Century French Decorative Arts and Culture
Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 6 to 8 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th Street

Daniel Harkett
History of Art and Visual Culture, Rhode Island School of Design
The Studio and the Salon: Artists, Masculinity, and Sociability in the Early Nineteenth Century

 RSVP is required.  Please reserve your place at or contact

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BGC Publications Cited for Excellence
The American Circus, edited by Susan Weber, Kenneth L. Ames, and Matthew Wittmann, was named a House Beautiful best book of 2012, Read more. 

Knoll Textiles, 1945- 2010, edited by Earl Martin, has been selected as one of the American Institute of Graphic Artists 50 best books and covers of 2011. Read more

Both books are available from the Gallery Bookstore. Click here.

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BGC/New York Silver Society Award
The New York Silver Society has established a prize for current BGC students and alumni. The two-year program will award $500 each year to a recipient whose proposal identifies an original topic related to the history of silver.

Professor Kenneth L. Ames and Professor Jeffrey Collins will head the committee to select the winning proposal, which will become a paper to be presented at a BGC Tuesday evening seminar.  The winner will also be honored at the NYSS Annual Dinner. For more information, email:

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Faculty Doings
Welcome to Learning from Things
Elena Pinto Simon, Dean of Academic Administration and Student Affairs, offers a new blog, "Learning from Things" — a behind the scenes look at the myriad activities of the BGC faculty.  Recent entries include interviews with Professor Kenneth L. Ames; Professor Jeffrey Collins, recently-named Chair of Academic Programs; and Professor Ivan Gaskell.  Read more
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Conversations with Alumni
Conversations with Alumni: Life After BGC,” was a special program, held on September 13, designed specifically for current students and alumni to learn about the kinds of jobs that our graduates find.  Read more.
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