Scope of the Institute
Project Content
Individual Projects and Meetings
Academic Resources
Project Faculty and Staff
Stipends and Housing
Application Instructions and Contact Information

Designed by Oliver Wendell Holmes and Joseph Bates. Stereoscopic Viewer (with stereoscopic view), 20th century. Library, Bard Graduate Center. Gift of Matthew Whittmann. Photographer: Bruce White.

Academic Resources

During this four-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute 2017, American Material Culture: Nineteenth-Century New York, Summer Scholars will have full access to Bard Graduate Center’s rich research resources. Bard Graduate Center’s Academic Programs building is wholly integrated with its Library, which houses a significant collection expressly developed to facilitate advanced studies in the history of the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. The collection comprises approximately 55,000 items, including monographs, reference materials, microfilms, rare books, and specialized auction catalogues. In addition, the Library subscribes to 500 journal titles and provides online access to approximately 60 electronic journals and research databases, including American Periodicals Series, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, DesignInform, C19, Design and Applied Arts Index, Dictionary of American Biography, ArtFact Pro, and the Index to 19th-Century American Art Periodicals (see Library Catalog).

Summer Scholars can arrange meetings with the Library staff to help them with their research needs. Bard Graduate Center has close working relationships with nearby cultural institutions, especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New-York Historical Society. Summer Scholars can take full advantage of these networks by having special access to collections and archives that may not be available to the general public.

Grape Shears. American. Silver (possibly recast). On loan to the Bard Graduate Center Study Collection from the Wunsch Americana Foundation, New York, New York.

Bard Graduate Center’s Visual Media Resources are also available to Summer Scholars. This department maintains a collection of approximately 22,000 digital images, representing a broad survey of decorative arts and material culture. This collection is fully integrated into the Artstor digital library through Bard Graduate Center’s subscription to Shared Shelf. Bard College’s art historically oriented collection, with more than 34,000 images, is also available via Shared Shelf. The Visual Media Resources department also oversees the Bard Graduate Center Study Collection, housed in our Object Lab. The Collection consists of over 500 objects in a variety of media, including glass, metal, ceramic, wood, plastic, textiles, and paper. The majority of pieces come from Europe and the Americas from the eighteenth century to the present, with additional holdings from Asia and the Pacific Islands. The purpose of the Study Collection is to support pedagogy by providing hands-on, close-up examination of objects as part of a classroom experience.

The Digital Media Lab at Bard Graduate Center offers a wide array of new media tools for purposes of teaching, research, and presentation. The Lab provides a well-equipped space (10 macs and 1 Windows desktop) for Summer Scholars to work on projects that require significant computing resources, such as audio and video editing, rendering of three-dimensional virtual spaces, and the development of multimedia online exhibitions.

Jug, c. 1830. American. Glass. On loan to the Bard Graduate Center Study Collection from the Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. ID: 1971.10.

During the Institute, two Focus Project exhibitions will be on view at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery. Focus Projects are curated by faculty in conjunction with students during a three-semester course sequence. The first of these shows is New York Crystal Palace 1853, developed by Professor David Jaffee. This exhibition examines a near-forgotten aspect of New York City’s cultural history through a display of key objects and four multimedia components, which include a digital publication with nine full-length essays, an audio guide, and two digital interactives focusing on the Crystal Palace’s history, architecture, and interior. The second show is Design by the Book: Chinese Ritual Objects and the Sanli tu curated by François Louis, Associate Professor, History of Chinese Design and Visual Culture. This project will explore the medieval Chinese book Xinding Sanli tu (Newly Determined Illustrations to the Ritual Classics) and its impact on Chinese material culture.

Please direct all application inquiries to: [email protected], and for more details visit the Application Instructions and Contact Information page.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.