Susan Weber. Photo by Da Ping Luo.

Greetings from West 86th Street, where final preparations are taking place for Bard Graduate Center’s most important fundraiser of the year, the annual Iris Foundation Awards luncheon, taking place next Wednesday, April 26, at the Cosmopolitan Club. If you haven’t yet purchased a ticket, we do have a few seats left, and I would love to see you there. If you can’t attend, please consider making a contribution. The funds raised at this event support scholarships for BGC’s trailblazing students, who will shape the field for years to come.

This marks the twenty-sixth year that BGC has honored the most important figures in the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. Throughout the ceremony’ history, we have recognized scholars, curators, leaders and patrons of major cultural institutions, collectors, and dealers whose work has advanced our field in ways that deserved special acknowledgement. This year’s worthy honorees include As you peruse our April newsletter, I encourage you to learn more about the students who benefit from the funds the Iris Foundation Awards provide as well as the success of BGC alumni. Josh Massey will receive his MA in May, and he has written an excellent reflection on his experience in Professor Ivan Gaskell’s fall 2022 course, “Tangible Things.” I’m also happy to profile Janet Ozarchuk, BGC’s chief operating officer.

I extend hearty congratulations to Hadley Jensen (MA ’13, PhD ’18) and associate professor Deborah L. Krohn, curators of Shaped by the Loom and Staging the Table, respectively, and I invite you to read some of the praise these two wonderful exhibitions have received in the press recently. The catalogue for Staging the Table is in high demand, and in this issue you can learn about how Krohn collaborated with BGC designer Jocelyn Lau to create the publication.

Congratulations are also in order to associate professor Drew Thompson, whose exhibition Benjamin Wigfall and Communications Village at State University of New York, New Paltz’s Dorsky Museum, recently won the Museum Association of New York Award of Distinction. The exhibition travels to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts this summer. Read more about the achievements of BGC’s faculty, fellows, students, staff, and alumni here.

Thanks to a wonderful initiative spearheaded by BGC director of research collections Heather Topcik and director of administration Samantha Baron, upon which Laura Grey, Jocelyn Lau, and Amy Estes in marketing, communications, and design have expanded, BGC has developed two fellowships for students at Pratt Institute to increase diversity in library studies and graphic design, a model I hope we can continue to expand. In this issue, meet Jacklyn Wang, the current fellow in graphic design.

In addition to the Iris Awards and the exhibitions in our galleries, the events programmed by BGC’s Public Humanities + Research department offer even more excellent reasons to visit us in the coming months. If you can’t travel to us, let us bring our work to you through our online exhibitions and recordings of past events.

I hope to see you at the Iris Awards or on 86th Street sometime soon.

Susan Weber, Founder and Director, Bard Graduate Center