Bard Graduate Center is a graduate research institute committed to studying the cultural history of the material world. Our degree programs, research projects, and exhibition program together work to suggest a new field of questions at the crossroads where decorative arts, design history, and material culture studies meet.
The BGC was founded in 1993, and is committed to the encyclopedic study of things, drawing on methodologies and approaches from art and design history, economic cultural history, history of technology, philosophy, anthropology, and archaeology. Located in New York City, the BGC is just a ten-minute walk (shorter than across many a college campus) from several world-class collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Historical Society, and the Frick Collection, just to name a few. The BGC regularly collaborates with these institutions on large-scale student exhibition programs, housed in the BGC Gallery.
Students enrolled in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs work closely with a distinguished permanent faculty of active scholars in exploring the interrelationships between works of art and craft, design, places, ideas, and social and cultural practice in courses ranging from the ancient world to the twenty-first century. Our areas of special strength include Global Middle Ages; Early Modern Europe; Modern Design History; New York and American Material Culture; the History and Theory of Museums, Archaeology, Anthropology, and Material Culture, and Cultures of Conservation.