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Dr. Susan Weber Fosters Generations of Curators and Scholars

Chelcey Berryhill - Sunday June 07, 2015 11:24

Royal Oak is pleased to highlight the work of Dr. Weber and Bard Graduate Center at our Timeless Design Gala this October. This year we seek to raise funds and awareness around the National Trust’s furniture collection. Without scholars like Dr. Weber, the stories of these significant collections would never be told.

Join us for Timeless Design this fall! Tickets for this year’s Gala are on sale now. Purchase Tickets

Dr. Weber with a group of students in the gallery.

Dr. Weber with a group of students in the gallery.

Dr. Susan Weber founded Bard Graduate Center in 1993, aiming to “advance the recognition of the decorative arts as one
of the primary expressions of human achievement.” In just over 20 years, Bard Graduate Center has more than fulfilled this aspiration, offering innovative degree programs and path-breaking museum exhibitions that have created a new context for the study of the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. In addition to rigorous MA and PhD programs, Bard Graduate Center produces the semiannual journal, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, that has become seminal in the field, and earned international acclaim for its gallery, which has presented more than 60 exhibitions and produced 50 publications since its inception.

Bard Graduate Center’s programs and exhibitions consider issues and ideas that exist largely outside the established canons of art history. Many past exhibitions—accompanied by extensively researched and illustrated publications—have helped to raise the profile of important historical movements and designers. The 2013 presentation of William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain for example, was the first major exhibition to examine the life and career of one of the most influential designers in 18th-century Britain. Winner of the College Art Association’s Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award, the accompanying publication brought together an international team of scholars to examine Kent’s oeuvre, including the interiors at Kensington Palace and Houghton Hall, to illuminate issues about the authorship of the artist’s furniture and metalwork, and to situate his contributions in relation to architectural discourse. Other notable exhibitions at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery have focused on James “Athenian” Stuart (2007), Thomas Hope (2008), and English embroidery from 1580–1700 (2008).

Installation shot of William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain at the Bard Graduate Center.

Installation shot of William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain at the Bard Graduate Center.

The important role that Bard Graduate Center’s exhibitions have had in advancing scholarship and recognition of the decorative arts is equaled by the impact of its academic program. Today, Bard Graduate Center’s growing network of over 400 alumni hold important positions at major museums, historical societies, and academic programs, extending its founder’s mission to institutions throughout the United States and abroad, and helping to train the next generation of curators and scholars.

Join us as we honor Dr. Weber this fall at our Timeless Design Gala! Purchase Tickets