Susan Weber. Photo by Da Ping Luo.

Greetings from West 86th Street, where the spring semester is in full swing, and the installation for two upcoming exhibitions is in progress.

Staging the Table in Europe 1500–1800, curated by Bard Graduate Center associate professor Deborah L. Krohn, explores the dining customs and practices of the early modern period. I invite you to experience the exhibition, where you will encounter many gloriously illustrated books written for and by servants in the wealthiest households. They provide instructions for carving meats, fishes, and fruits, and folding napkins into elaborate sculptural forms and are displayed alongside rarely-seen table linens and carving knives and forks made of precious materials.

Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest features historic blankets, garments, and rugs from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), many of which have never before been on view, alongside breathtaking panoramic photographs of the Navajo Nation and contemporary works by Diné weavers and artists. I am proud to present the work of Hadley Jensen, an alumna of BGC’s MA and PhD programs, who curated the exhibition and did much of the research for it during her tenure as the BGC / AMNH Postdoctoral Fellow.

I hope you will join us this semester for Wednesdays @ BGC, a series of fascinating events programmed by the Public Humanities + Research department. I look forward to welcoming the many artists and thinkers featured in these events to campus.

The academic life of BGC is enriched this semester by these guests and by our spring fellows. We count among them two archaeologists, two historians, an artist working with clay, and a designer of textiles and furniture. I hope you will learn more about them and our fellowship programs here.

Finally, I want to congratulate BGC assistant professor Freyja Hartzell on the publication of her book, Richard Riemerschmid’s Extraordinary Living Things (MIT Press, 2022). Recently she spoke with BGC student Mackensie Griffin about her research. You can read a transcript of their conversation and find more news from the BGC faculty in this newsletter.

If you don’t have the opportunity to join us on campus in the next few months, please engage with our publications and many resources available from home, including online exhibitions and YouTube recordings of past events.

Susan Weber, Founder and Director, Bard Graduate Center