Our partnerships reflect the breadth of Bard Graduate Center’s interests and the ambitiousness of its goals. A major focus is museum work; our collaborations in this area concentrate on creating opportunities for faculty-student research on collections within a 10- to 15-minute walk of our campus. Other collaborations connect us with academic colleagues so as to insure that our intellectual agenda is always carried out using the most sophisticated available tools and that we are asking the most profitable questions.
The Association of Research Institutes in Art History (ARIAH) was incorporated in 1988 to promote scholarship by institutes of advanced research in the history of art and related disciplines; to provide general information about the scholarly activities of its member institutes; and to develop cooperative projects and programs. It currently consists of 25 member institutions, including the Getty Research Institute, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and Dumbarton Oaks. See www.ariah.info for further information.Bard Graduate Center has been a member since 2014.
Founded by Bard Graduate Center in 2007, the Consortium for American Material Culture (CAMC) has brought together leading academics and curators from such institutions as Boston University, Brown University, Cooper-Hewitt/Parsons Program, Cooperstown Graduate Program, Harvard Art Museums, Michigan State University Museum, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, New York University, Penn State Harrisburg, Rutgers University-Camden, University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum, Hagley Museum and Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chipstone Foundation, and Yale University. At annual meetings each May, the group discusses a broad range of issues in material culture studies. Meetings at Bard Graduate Center also have included participants from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New-York Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of the City of New York, Museum of Arts and Design, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
History of Meetings:
2007: hosted by BGC
2008: hosted by BGC
2009: hosted by BGC
2010: hosted by University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum
2011: hosted by Program in American Civilization, Brown University
2012: hosted by Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee/ University of Wisconsin-Madison
2013: hosted by BGC
2014: hosted by University of Delaware and Hagley Museum
2015: hosted by Penn State Harrisburg
2016: hosted by Bard Graduate Center
Bard Graduate Center’s partner institutions, in what we call our “Cultural Sciences Campus,” include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New-York Historical Society, the American Museum of Natural History, The Frick Collection, and the Museum of Arts and Design. Our relationships extend through exhibition programs to shared faculty.
With The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New-York Historical Society, we have organized multi-semester projects in which faculty and curators choose an exhibition topic, put together a curriculum for the instruction of students, and then supervise the students who participate in the exhibition’s progress as a checklist is created, a narrative is established, a book is written, and the physical dimension takes form in the Bard Graduate Center Gallery. These exhibitions have included Vasemania–Neoclassical Form and Ornament in Europe: Selections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2004); Lions, Dragons, & Other Beasts: Aquamanilia of the Middle Ages, Vessels for Church and Table (2006); English Embroidery from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580-1700: ‘Twixt Art and Nature (2008); Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick (2009); and Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013).
With the American Museum of Natural History, we sponsor a post-doctoral fellowship based partly in the museum and partly at Bard Graduate Center. The Fellow works on a pre-determined aspect of the Anthropology Division’s ethnographic collection, teaches about it at BGC, and then curates a Focus Project. These projects include Aaron Glass’s Objects of Exchange: Social and Material Transformation on the Late Nineteenth-Century Northwest Coast (2011), Erin Hassinoff’s Confluences: An American Expedition to Northern Burma, 1935 (2013), Nicola Sharratt’s Carrying Cocoa: Textile Bags in the Andes 200-2000 (2014), and Shawn Rowlands’s Frontier Shores: Collection, Entanglement, and the Manufacture of Identity in Oceania (2015). The current project, which explores Balinese textiles, is being prepared by current fellow Urmila Mohan. At The Frick Collection, the Curator of Decorative Arts teaches every year at BGC on the history of the collection and welcomes students to work on the museum’s collection. Similarly, the Windgate Research Collections Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, Elissa Auther, has an office and teaches one course a year at BGC.
We call this institutional constellation by the term “Cultural Sciences” (Kulturwissenschaften) to evoke the German world c. 1900 which anticipated the convergence of inquiries into art, society, economy, history, and religion. At BGC, where the study of objects-in-context is central, the approaches and perspectives of these other disciplines and fields are an essential part of the tool-kits of faculty and students. The best model for what we aspire to achieve was Aby Warburg’s Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (Warburg Library for the Cultural Sciences), established in Hamburg in the first decade of the twentieth century, which brought together art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians of religion, and literary scholars in an unprecedented collaboration aimed at understanding the development of human society through its traces and symbols. We call it a “campus” because all these institutions perch on Central Park like university buildings around its quadrangle.