Bard Graduate Center thanks Genevieve Cortinovis (MA’10), the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the St. Louis Museum of Art; Irene Sunwoo (MA ‘03), the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago; Andrew Taggart (MA ‘16), Associate Specialist in American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts at Freeman’s; and Darienne Turner (MA ‘17), Assistant Curator of Indigenous Arts of the Americas at the Baltimore Museum of Art for participating in a career development panel for current BGC students organized by Madeline Warner (MA ‘20) on April 20.

Ayesha Abdur-Rahman
(MA ‘00) has been back in Colombo, Sri Lanka permanently since 2009. In 2015, she received her PhD from the Postgraduate Institute in Archaeological Research at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka. Her dissertation was titled “Furniture in Sri Lanka up to the Colonial Period,” and it examines the stone furniture of the early period (third century BCE–twelfth century CE), representational furniture from wall paintings (twelfth–sixteenth centuries), and the extant wooden furniture of the Kandyan period (sixteenth– eighteenth centuries). She is working on a book based on her dissertation for the Sri Lanka National Trust. Since 2008, Abdur-Rahman has convened international conferences on Sri Lankan decorative arts. She formed a non-profit called Lanka Decorative Arts that has convened or supported seven conferences, including “Kussiya: The Kitchen, Culinary Ethnology in Sri Lanka,” this past August. Bard Graduate Center was represented by professor emerita Elizabeth Simpson who delivered the keynote and Antonia Behan (PhD ‘20) who presented a paper. Abdur-Rahman has edited a book of the same title with Elizabeth Simpson; it contains several articles from the conference, and it is now being prepared for printing in Colombo.

Genevieve Cortinovis
(MA’10), the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the St. Louis Museum of Art (SLAM), will give an online talk on Thursday, April 29, entitled “Art Speaks: Uncovering the Life of Artist Simhah Viterbo.” Centering around the current SLAM exhibition Signed in Silk: Introducing a Sacred Jewish Textile, Cortinovis’s talk will show how interdisciplinary research in the fields of decorative arts and economic, political, and religious history helped uncover and illuminate the rich material world of a young woman artist living in Ancona’s Jewish ghetto in the middle of the eighteenth century.

In 2020, Ana Estrades (MA ‘16) curated All is Possible: Mary Ann Scherr’s Legacy in Metal, the first retrospective exhibition of the work of pioneering jewelry designer Mary Ann Scherr at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at North Carolina State University. ArtFix Daily featured a virtual tour of the exhibition in January.

Daniella Ohad
(PhD ‘06) has been busy with multiple projects. Her new podcast, Designing the 21st Century, illuminates the work of visionaries forging the landscape of contemporary design and architecture. This spring, in partnership with American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York, Ohad will be presenting a program called The Story of Modern Design, an intensive five-session course beginning April 23 and providing an overview of mid-century modern design in America, France, Scandinavia, Italy, and Brazil. Finally, all of the talks in Daniella’s bespoke program, “Collecting Design: The Legends” with the AIA, were published in Forum Magazine and are available to read online.

BGC alumnae Stephanie Post (MA ‘05) and Eva Labson (MA, ‘08)—employed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a senior digital asset specialist in the digital department and a senior collections manager for the Antonio Ratti Textile Center, respectively—are pleased to share news of their exhibition Art for the Community: The Met’s Circulating Textile Exhibitions, 1933–1942. Post and Labson partnered with Elizabeth Cleland, curator in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, to organize this installation in honor of the Met’s 150th anniversary. Drawing from the Met’s permanent textile collection, image library, and archives, the exhibition recounts the development and history of the museum’s circulating exhibitions installed in New York Public Library branches, settlement houses, public high schools, and universities from 1933 to 1942. It will be on view at the Met Fifth Avenue until June 13, 2021.

After serving as director of external partnerships and cultural affairs at Parsons School of Design - The New School and assistant chair of the fashion department and acting assistant dean of Pratt Institute’s School of Design, Shannon Bell Price (PhD ‘14) has been appointed dean of the Cilker School of Art and Design at West Valley College in Silicon Valley.

Mei Mei Rado
(PhD ‘18) has been awarded a three-year Janet Arnold Major Award from the Society of Antiquaries of London for developing object-based research on modern Chinese fashion in preparation for a special exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition will further the understanding of Chinese fashions through the century spanning the late Qing dynasty, the Republican period, and the early Communist regime, exploring fast-changing styles, tailoring techniques, and textiles as responses to the semi-colonial social culture and successive national crises in China following the Opium Wars.

Emma Scully
(MA ‘14) will present a pop-up gallery show of cast iron editions at 16 East 79th Street in New York City in mid-May. A marriage of industrial making and digital connectivity, the show will feature the ideas of eight diverse artists produced by a local foundry, thus providing a model for a more equitable, and environmentally conscious way to run a collectible design gallery.

Designing Motherhood, an exhibition that investigates designs that have defined the material culture and experience of maternity, is organized by Amber Winick (MA ‘13) and Michelle Millar Fisher in partnership with the Maternity Care Coalition, and will open at the Mütter Museum on May 6 and at the Center for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia on September 10. The book, Designing Motherhood: Things that Make and Break Our Births, published by MIT Press, is available for pre-order and will be in stores on September 7.