Since 1994, the Center for Curatorial Studies has presented rotating temporary exhibitions of contemporary art in the 9,500 square-foot CCS Galleries. Designed by architect Jim Goettsch and Nada Andric, the Galleries include advanced storage facilities and a special gallery designed for the presentation of video art and works on film. Exhibitions in the CCS Galleries are organized by Center staff and visiting curators and scholars, who are invited to discuss their projects with students and the public in gallery walk-throughs and the Center’s lecture series. CCS exhibitions reflect the Center’s principal aim to encourage and explore experimental approaches to the presentation of contemporary visual arts, and are also utilized by students in the Center’s graduate program for their collaborative first-year projects and second-year thesis exhibitions.
On November 12, 2006, the Center for Curatorial Studies inaugurates the Hessel Museum of Art, a new 17,000 square-foot building dedicated to the Marieluise Hessel Collection of over 1,700 contemporary works. The new museum will provide an educational venue for Bard students as well as the wider public, and a place to test out the possibilities of exhibition making utilizing the remarkable resources of the collection as a whole. Exhibitions in the Hessel Museum of Art will compliment the extensive exhibitions curated for the CCS Galleries.
The new Hessel Museum of Art is part of a $10-million development that has been primarily funded by Ms. Hessel with additional support from her husband, Edwin Artzt. Robert Soros and Melissa Schiff Soros and Laura-Lee Woods provided part of the funding for the renovation and expansion of the existing CCS library, archive, classroom space, and student lounge.