Bard Graduate Center associate curator Emma Cormack (MA ‘18) and assistant professor Michele Majer led an online session of “Curators on Curating,” BGC’s new series that goes behind the scenes of upcoming BGC exhibitions and offers attendees a window into the curatorial process of exhibition making. They discussed the fall 2022 exhibition they are co-curating along with Ilona Kos of Textilmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland. Threads of Power will trace the development of lace from its sixteenth-century origins to the present, bringing more than 175 examples from Textilmuseum’s extensive collection to the US for the first time. Garments, accessories, portraits, photographs, and examples of cutting-edge lace in contemporary couture will illustrate a wide variety of hand- and machine-made lace techniques and demonstrate lace as a signifier of power and wealth throughout history.

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) appointed Anne Eschapasse (MA ‘00) to the role of deputy director in April 2021. According to MAC, Eschapasse boasts “strong Canadian and international expertise in managing cultural institutions. … She will lead the management of operations across the Musée upon assuming her new duties and will be involved in the strategic planning of the institution’s main objectives at this pivotal time in its history. Among other projects, she will manage all activities related to the major transformation project and the Musée’s move in close collaboration with John Zeppetelli, director and chief curator.”

Colin Fanning (MA ‘13, current PhD candidate)
recently published a research article titled, “Constructed Pasts: Narratives of Home, History, and Otherness in LEGO” in The Public Historian. The article unpacks how LEGO’s product designs, marketing, and theme park operations have commodified historical inequities, giving tangible form to stereotypes of a racially unmarked European past, colonial encounters with the “uncivilized,” and the gendering of domestic space and construction play.

BGC assistant professor Freyja Hartzell’s (MA ‘05) book on German designer Richard Riemerschmid (1868–1957) was recently accepted for publication by MIT Press and will be released in fall 2022.

On June 19, Anne Hilker (PhD ‘21) and Rebecca Tilles (MA ‘07) served on a panel entitled “The Evolving House Museum: Looking Back, Looking Forward” for the Society of History and Collecting’s recent online conference, The Evolving House Museum: Art Collectors and Their Residences, Then and Now. Hilker gave a talk called “The Fortunes of War: The Brief Life of the Jules S. Bache House Museum in New York, 1937–1943” and Tilles, who is associate curator of eighteenth-century French and Western European fine and decorative arts at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in Washington, DC spoke about “Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood and the Vision from a Private Collection to Public Museum.”

Matthew Keagle (PhD ‘20)
, curator at New York’s Fort Ticonderoga, recently unveiled a new exhibition entitled A Well Regulated Militia: Citizen, Soldier, and State. It explores the role of the militia in early American history, from colonization through nationhood. The exhibition is on view through October 31, 2021.

Congratulations to Jessica Mordine Young (MA ‘21) on her new role as managing editor of Tatter, a new publication from BLUE: The Tatter Textile Library, that “promotes the consciousness of cloth by considering and celebrating cloth’s intrinsic and essential relationship in human life—through portals that include but are not limited to art, shelter, comfort, science, commerce, and culture.” Young was an intern at Tatter while studying at BGC. The most recent issue, released this spring, focuses on Earth.

Sophie Pitman (MA ‘13) and Mei Mei Rado (PhD ‘18) participated in Dressing a Picture: Reimagining the Court Portrait, 1500–1800, an online conference sponsored by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities at the University of Cambridge in May 2021. Pitman chaired the panel on Negotiating Gender in Early Modern Portraiture, and Rado delivered a keynote entitled “Qing Imperial Portraits and Europe” for the panel on The Court Portrait: Global Considerations.

also gave a talk titled “Decorative Arts or Fashion? Exhibiting Late Qing and Modern Chinese Dress” during the University of Chicago’s online symposium, East Asian Art in the West, on June 4. Her talk drew on archival materials and firsthand experience to examine how specific past exhibitions reflect the changing museological approaches to, and scholarship on, Chinese dress in two disciplines of Chinese art and fashion history. She also addressed new scholarship on Chinese dress and envisioned future directions of its exhibitions in art museums.

Rebecca Sandler Perten (PhD ‘19)
was recently appointed assistant dean of Jewish Theological Seminary’s Kekst Graduate School and List College.

In September 2020, Amy (Sande-Friedman) Snyder (PhD ‘12) launched Upward & Associates, a non-profit that pairs artists with art world-professionals for sales-oriented advice. Fellow Bard Graduate Center alums, Emily Klug (MA ‘06) and Jennifer Klos (MA ‘07), have joined the program as mentors, and together they have already helped over 50 artists!

MA alum and PhD candidate Sarah Scaturro was featured in the first episode of PBS’s Inside the Met! Scaturro also recently received a Craft Research Fund project grant from the Center for Craft for “The Role of Craft in the Development of Textile Conservation in the United States.”

In a marriage of the material origins of industrial making and modern digital approaches to design, Emma Scully (MA ‘14) has commissioned eight artists to create work in cast iron. The exhibition runs through June 25; learn more at

Susie Silbert (MA ‘12) recently hosted a video of “Curated Highlights: Ceramic and Glassware” for the Masterpiece London Art Fair.

Thanks to Christine Griffiths (MA ‘13, current PhD candidate) for sharing news of conferences that she and other BGC alumni and students participated in this spring. At the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Annual Meeting in April, Griffiths chaired a panel sponsored by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing entitled Material Manuals: Making and Using Eighteenth-Century Instructional Books. She also presented a paper entitled “Distilling Gardens and (Re-)Materializing Eighteenth-Century Perfumes,” for which she created scent kits that were mailed to co-panelists and colleagues, so that they could experience raw materials and a reconstruction of a potpourri recipe from the circle of Horace Walpole.

Also at the ASECS Annual Meeting, J. Cabelle Ahn (MA ‘15) presented “Le cadavre desséché de plantes: Herbaria and the Formation of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris,” and Cynthia Kok (MA ‘16) presented “The Plastic Shell: Mother-of-Pearl and Material Literacy in Early Modern Europe.”

At the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in April, Griffiths reports that Donna Bilak (PhD ‘13) presented “Out of the Ivy and into the Arctic: Pedagogy and Reconstruction in Cross-Cultural Contexts,” Martina D’Amato (MA ‘12 and current PhD candidate) presented “Repurposing the Renaissance for the Third Republic: Philanthropy, Patriotism, and the Marquise Arconati-Visconti,” Sophie Pitman (MA ‘13) presented “Making Material: Refashioning the Clothing of Early Modern Artisans,” Katherine Tycz (MA ‘13) presented “Praying with Popular Print in Renaissance Italy,” and Hannah Wirta Kinney (MA ‘14) chaired a session on “The Resonances of Renaissance Objects.”