Mission

Bard Graduate Center’s public programs and education initiatives are catalysts for deep reflection with objects. We build dialogue and imagine new ways of seeing.

Vision and Values
Bard Graduate Center is committed to forming the next generation of museum educators, curators, and historians, who see deeply, think critically, and build freely.

See Deeply— We believe in the power of careful observation, deduction, and research. We also acknowledge that audiences bring a wealth of personal knowledge, history, and insight to their relationship with objects.

Think Critically
— We value serious, disciplined thinking that is clear, open-minded, and informed by evidence. We want audiences to feel confident about drawing meaning from objects, familiar and unfamiliar. We believe in open dialogue and big questions.

Build Freely
— We provide opportunities for people to build relationships and share insights. We hope to build an intergenerational movement of curators, scholars, historians, and visitors in order to create democratic museums. We believe that by reimagining the past we can build an equitable future.
Teens

The Lab for Teen Thinkers

The Lab for Teen Thinkers is a public humanities program that prepares rising juniors and seniors for future academic and professional success through civic development, mentoring, and internship opportunities. Participants have access to Bard Graduate Center’s research institute, study collection, and library with over 55,000 volumes. The program offers a behind-the-scenes look at how New York City museums function and gives teens the unique opportunity to study objects and artifacts with a variety of scholars, curators, and PhD students working in the fields of material culture, decorative arts, and design history. Participants conduct independent research and create dynamic digital projects with the support of our Digital Media Lab. Teen Thinkers contribute their research and scholarship with the larger academic community at Bard Graduate Center, influencing how others might learn and think about material culture.

Read an interview with Teen Thinker alumni here.

Read about The Lab for Teen Thinkers here.

View the 2020 summer project Seneca Village here.

View the 2019 summer project Design, Space and The Everyday.

Learn more about teen research in the Object of the Month.

Stay tuned for information about our Summer 2021 program.
K-12

School Tours

K–12 visitors see objects up close and make meaningful connections to the world around them. Our student-centered tours are led by graduate student educators who engage young people in lively discussion and hands-on activities that promote critical thinking and visual literacy skills. Tours are adaptable to your school’s curriculum and build thoughtful object-based inquiry and powerful learning experiences.

English Language Learners

We offer customized tours for English language learners that explore exhibition objects through touch and hands-on making activities. ELL students are encouraged to draw on their personal knowledge, history, and insight during the object-based tour which builds meaningful learning experiences.

Virtual Guided Tours

This spring we hope you’ll consider a virtual visit to Bard Graduate Center as part of your students’ learning. A virtual guided tour of our past exhibition, French Fashion, Women and the First World War gives students the opportunity to explore the dynamic relationship between fashion, war, and gender politics in France during World War I. We offer one hour virtual guided tours that engage young people in lively discussion and activities that connect fashion to their own lives and promote critical thinking skills. NYC DOE school visits are free.

We are currently accepting reservations for the spring and encourage you to book your virtual guided tour before all spaces are filled.

For more information email: tours@bgc.bard.edu

Virtual Guided Tour Availability
Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 am–3 pm

Tour Length: 60 minutes

Tour Fees
NYC DOE school groups: Free
For all other groups of up to 35 participants: $85

Educator Guides

Download here.

Family

Ice Cream Social

Twice a year we host an afternoon of open house activities in the Gallery along with free Van Leeuwen ice cream on 86th Street. Join us for an afternoon of storytelling, hands-on art making, and gallery exploration for the whole family!

Stay tuned for information about our Spring 2021 Ice Cream Social.
Courses

Public Learning Classes: Applying the same values of intimate instruction and close contemplation as our MA and PhD programs, Bard Graduate Center’s evening classes for the general public give participants unprecedented access to our world-renowned faculty and alumni. Most courses are five weeks long.

Study Days: Our Study Days provide opportunities for day-long immersive study into specific areas related to our exhibitions. Experts and scholars provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access to collections and their contexts.

Stay tuned for information about our Spring 2021 course offerings.
Access

We offer education and public programs that build inclusive and accessible gallery experiences for visitors.

Arts & Minds

Arts & Minds brings adults with memory disorders and their caregivers together for deep reflection with objects. Through gallery discussions and hands-on making activities, Arts & Minds opens a window to creativity and well-being. To learn more about this program, please email public.programs@bgc.bard.edu

Tours for English Language Learners

We offer customized tours for English Language Learners that explore exhibition objects through touch and hands-on activities. ELL students are encouraged to draw on their personal knowledge and insights, bringing objects to life through storytelling.

For Visitors With Hearing Loss

We offer a variety of conversations, talks and exhibition symposia with assistive listening devices. To learn more about this program, please email public.programs@bgc.bard.edu
Seniors

Virtual Guided Tours
We invite you to explore an exhibition from BGC’s past, French Fashion, Women and the First World War, and delve into the dynamic relationship between fashion, war, and gender politics in France during World War I.

Virtual Guided Tour Availability
Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 am–5 pm
March 9–June 8, 2021

Tour Length: 60 minutes

Tour Fees
Senior groups: Free

We are currently accepting bookings and encourage you to schedule your virtual visit before all spaces are filled.

Book now by email at: tours@bgc.bard.edu

Arts and Minds
Arts & Minds brings adults with memory disorders and their caregivers together for deep reflection with objects. Through gallery discussions and hands-on making activities, Arts & Minds opens a window to creativity and well-being. To learn more about this program, please email public.programs@bgc.bard.edu

Free tours for groups of 10+

Senior Group Tours can be customized to meet the specific needs of visitors, including scheduling tours when the museum is closed and accommodating chairs so visitors can relax. To schedule a tour email: tours@bgc.bard.edu
Teachers

Evening for Educators

Bard Graduate Center acknowledges educators as leaders who make important contributions in the arts and humanities and in the lives of students. Our Evening for Educators reflects our commitment to provide teachers with quality interdisciplinary workshops and tours that spark deeper appreciation of the material world and its complex cultural history.

Educator Guides

Download here.

Stay tuned for more information about virtual offerings.
Guided Tours

Virtual Guided Tours

Back by popular demand! We invite you to explore an exhibition from BGC’s past, French Fashion, Women and the First World War, and delve into the dynamic relationship between fashion, war, and gender politics in France during World War I.

Virtual Guided Tours for Individuals
These tours are conversational in nature and take place weekly. We offer “Pay What You Wish” tickets and ASL interpretation by Pro Bono ASL to make this program as accessible as possible.

To view the schedule and register please click here

Virtual Guided Tour Availability

Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 am–5 pm
March 9–June 8, 2021

Tour Length: 60 minutes

Tour Fees
Senior groups: Free
CUNY groups: Free
For all other groups of up to 35 participants: $85
Engagement

We build sustained relationships and dialogue between artists, teens, seniors, scholars, veterans, historians, curators, and community-based organizations around the city in order to create democratic museums.

Community Partnerships

Bard High School Early College

Hill Art Foundation

DreamYard Project

Wendy’s Subway

Textile Arts Center

Arts & Minds