ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y., April 2017 - The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) has named curator Lauren Cornell as Director of the Graduate Program for its two-year Master of Arts in Curatorial Studies and Chief Curator of the Hessel Museum of Art, beginning on July 1st, 2017. This is the first time the Hessel Museum, founded in 2006, has appointed a Chief Curator, and marks the institution’s growth under the leadership of Executive Director Tom Eccles through in-depth and argument-driven shows and experimental approaches to exhibition-making. Cornell is regarded as an influential curator of contemporary art whose shows and projects have cogently framed emerging art and discourse over the past two decades. In her noted work with media art, she has consistently rooted the most recent expressions of the field historically and internationally while seeking out new contexts for art’s presentation. Cornell has on been faculty at CCS Bard since 2010 and co-organized the Hessel Museum’s tenth anniversary exhibition Invisible Adversaries with Eccles.
In her role as Director of the Graduate Program, Cornell will be responsible for all aspects of the Center’s academic program, including curriculum and faculty development, directing research initiatives, and organizing the Center’s artist-in-residence and curator-in-residence programs. As Chief Curator of the Hessel Museum, she will oversee and organize the exhibitions program, symposia, public programs, publishing initiatives and support development of the museum’s collections. In 2015, CCS Bard rebuilt and expanded its Library and Archives, doubled its number of classrooms and teaching spaces and increased staff dedicated to the collection.
Tom Eccles states: “Lauren’s innovative approach to curating and public programming will bring a new strength to the wide-ranging activities of the CCS and the Hessel Museum. Our recent expansion broadened our capacity for archival research and contemporary art scholarship, creating greater opportunities for the CCS students, the undergraduate programs at Bard and visitors to the museum. Lauren’s expertise and collaborative spirit will carry forward the institution’s commitment to the analysis and advancement of art across the Master’s Program and Museum.”
Cornell is currently Curator and Associate Director of Technology Initiatives at the New Museum, where she has worked in various capacities since 2005. At the New Museum, she organized exhibitions, including Beatriz Santiago Munoz: Song, Strategy, Sign (with Johanna Burton and Sara O'Keeffe), the New Museum Triennial Surround Audience (with Ryan Trecartin), Walking, Drifting, Dragging, and Free, among other shows. She commissioned over one hundred works in a variety of mediums, including performance, video, browser-based work, photography, sculpture and painting and, presented dozens of performances, screenings and conversations in the Museum’s Theater. She also founded multiple ongoing initiatives at the New Museum including the annual conferences Seven on Seven and Open Score as well as the digital art commissioning program First Look. From 2005-2012, Cornell served as Executive director of the New Museum’s affiliate Rhizome, an organization that commissions, exhibits, and preserves art engaged with technology. From 2002-2004, she served as Executive director of Ocularis, a former cinema in Brooklyn that presented experimental film, video and performance. She coedited Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century (New Museum and MIT Press) with Ed Halter and has contributed to monographic catalogues on artists including Xavier Cha, Nilbar Gures, Basim Magdy, Takeshi Murata, Trevor Paglen, Ryan Trecartin, Daniel Steegman Mangrane, and Aleksandra Waliszewska. In 2017, she received ArtTable’s award for “New Leadership” in the arts.