Bard News & Events

Press Release

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards Major Grant to Bard College

First-time grant for the Bard Graduate Center will create a new curriculum on conservation and material culture

Mark Primoff

New York, NY—The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant of $490,000 to create a new curriculum, “Cultures of Conservation” at the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture.

“The BGC has developed rapidly over the last two decades into a leading center for the study of objects and the “pasts” to which they give access,” explains Dean Peter Miller. “With the assistance of Mellon Foundation funding, we will build on our unique cross-disciplinary perspective by bringing professors and graduate students together with objects conservators for a curriculum-based dialogue on the concepts and practices of conservation as they bear on the study of the material record.”

In addition, the grant will support postgraduate Mellon fellowships open to professionals of any rank but with a preference for emerging scholars who wish to work with a conservator in the New York metropolitan area; the appointment of a Mellon visiting professor who will teach courses from the conservator’s point of view; and the creation of a new seminar series entitled “Conservation Conversations” that will be open to the interested public in addition to the BGC community of faculty and students.

“I founded the BGC with the conviction that the aspirations and habits of civilization are revealed through objects, which are fundamental to the lives of all individuals,” said Dr. Susan Weber, the BGC’s Founder and Director.  “With this initiative, the Center will augment the existing program of study by integrating conceptual and technical issues of conservation into the broader scholarly dialogue, thereby bridging the divide between theory and practice in the study of material culture. We are honored to have received the support of the Mellon Foundation for this important step in the evolution of the BGC’s unique program.”   

The Bard Graduate Center, located in New York City, is a graduate institution of Bard College, a liberal arts college with a distinguished reputation for global innovation in education and the arts and sciences. Since its establishment in 1993, the BGC has aimed to become the leading graduate center for the study of the cultural history of the material world. The BGC is committed to the encyclopedic study of things, drawing on methodologies and approaches from art and design history, economic and cultural history, history of technology, philosophy, anthropology, and archaeology. Students enrolled in the MA and PhD programs work closely with a distinguished 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 antiquity to the twenty-first century. 

Bard College has received several grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in recent years, designed to enhance curricular and co-curricular programs and activities of the College.

For more information about the BGC’s Culture of Conservation curriculum, please call 212-501-3057, or e-mail


# # #

September 5, 2012

back to top

This event was last updated on 09-09-2012