Bard Graduate Center’s Focus Projects rely on the work of faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, students, and staff to realize not only their exhibitions, but also their accompanying publications.

Richard Tuttle: What Is the Object? provides an especially provocative way of connecting the catalogue—a physical object in its own right—with the exhibition’s theme and central question. This is the first publication to explore the object collection of influential American artist, Richard Tuttle (b. 1941). It includes the cards on which he has recorded his thoughts about these items over the past five decades.

Designed by famed Belgian book artist Luc Derycke as a ‘book as object,’ the form of the publication reflects the exhibition’s challenging question about the meaning of objects. A deluxe limited edition with silk ribbons ties into the materials used in the exhibition design. Tuttle’s objects and index cards are beautifully photographed throughout by Bruce M. White in this lavishly illustrated volume. The unconventional design form embraces Tuttle’s conceptual underpinnings and makes the publication truly a collaborative art object.

The catalogue includes an interview with Tuttle, an analysis of objects in poetic non-fiction by Renée Gladman, an essay about Tuttle’s art as the pursuit of a philosophical exploration by Dean Miller, as well as poems by Tuttle and a short, surrealist tale about his objects.

Meanwhile, Conserving Active Matter draws together the main lines and interim conclusions of a five-year research project embedded in a ten-year effort to reimagine the relationship between conservation knowledge and the humanistic study of the material world, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and titled “Cultures of Conservation.” Thinking through the lens of “active matter,” as understood by philosophers, historians, materials scientists, conservators, and those who work on Indigenous artifacts, this project has raised questions and established new lines of inquiry for the future of conservation and the human sciences of the object.

The field of conservation developed in Europe and the United States and then spread around the world. Today’s conservator uses a variety of tools and categories developed over the last 150 years to do this work. But in the next decades, new kinds of materials and a new scale of change will pose unprecedented challenges.

The publication includes writing by Soon Kai Poh, Peter N. Miller, Ivan Gaskell, A. W. Eaton, Sherri Irvin, Carolyn Korsmeyer, Yuriko Saito, Alva Noë, Ittai Weinryb, André Laks, Guido Giglioni, Spike Bucklow, Lee Palmer Wandel, Aaron Glass, Sven Haakanson, Jamie Jacobs, Kelly McHugh, Rose Evans, Jennifer L. Mass, Chris McGlinchey, Francesca Casadio, Marc Walton, Pengxiao Hao, Marc Vermeulen, Florian Willomitzer, Oliver Cossairt, Marco Leona and Henry D. Smith II.

Both publications are available for purchase at