Cultural Sciences Campus

What we call “Cultural Sciences Campus” connects the BGC to our institutional partners: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New-York Historical Society, the American Museum of Natural History and The Frick Collection. Our relationships extend through exhibition programs to shared faculty. With the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New-York Historical Society we have organized multi-semester projects in which faculty and curators choose an exhibition topic, they put together a curriculum for the instruction of students, and then they supervise the students who participate in the exhibition's progress as a checklist is created, a narrative is established, and the physical dimension takes form in the Bard Graduate Center Main Gallery. With the American Museum of Natural History we sponsor a post-doctoral fellowship based part in the museum and part in the BGC. The Fellow works on some aspect of the Anthropology Division’s collection, teaches about it at the BGC, and then curates an exhibition in the Focus Gallery. These projects include Aaron Glass’s Objects of Exchange: Trade and Transaction on the Northwest Coast (2010), and forthcoming exhibitions by Erin Hasinoff (Confluences: An American Expedition to Northern Burma, 1935 [2013]), and Nicola Sharratt (Andean Textiles [2014]). At The Frick Collection, the Curator of Decorative Arts teaches every year at the BGC on the history of the collection.

We call it "Cultural Sciences" ( Kulturwissenschaften ) to evoke the German world c. 1900 which anticipated the convergence of inquiries into art, society, economy, history, and religion. The best model for what we aspire to achieve was Aby Warburg's Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (Warburg Cultural Sciences Library), established in Hamburg in the first decade of the twentieth century, which brought together art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians of religion and literary scholars in an unprecedented collaboration.

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