While believing contemporary art is best grasped in counterpoint with its historical precedents and antecedents, the graduate program at CCS Bard recognizes that the field of art today is porous at its borders with many artistic practices taking up economics, geopolitics, philosophy, and the like as their subjects. Therefore the graduate program is concerned with charting the various trajectories of art’s conception, creation, distribution, circulation, mediation, and display as they have been manifested in institutional and alternative settings, interrogating and theorizing the character and role of art both today and in the decades ahead.
Course offerings include seminars in art and exhibition history, theory, criticism, and curatorial practice, with intensive readings also covering cultural studies, post-colonialism, immaterial labor, queer and feminist theory, and ideations of subjecthood, among other focuses. In addition, classes and workshops that take up the conception and production of exhibitions and curatorial projects are led by curators, critics, archivists, librarians, and other art professionals; independent research courses, as well as reading and writing tutorials, are also integrated into the two year curriculum. Students are required to complete a professional development and mentorship project at the end of their first year; they also develop projects and exhibitions that engage the Marieluise Hessel Collection and the CCS Bard Library and Archives.
Candidacy for the Master of Arts in Curatorial Studies degree requires satisfactory completion of a total of 40 course credits, in addition to the execution and completion of both the written and curated components of the final master’s thesis project.
• 24 credits from 10 required courses (four seminars, four practicums, and two independent research courses)
• 10 credits from 5 elective courses
• 6 credits from the required professional development and mentorship placement, undertaken at the end of the first year of study
• The two-part master’s degree project (written thesis and curated component)
During the first year of study, CCS Bard students and faculty travel to an international art event or artistic center and meet with a variety of curators, artists, and other cultural producers.
This unit is structured to enhance each student’s individual interests and broaden their base of practical and professional competencies, with the guidance of an international array of practitioners, CCS Bard faculty, and members of the Graduate Committee.
The typical course schedule for a student in the graduate program is outlined below. Required seminars, proseminars, and practicums are taken in the semesters indicated. All courses typically meet for two and a half hours once a week, although some will have additional discussion sessions, as well as meetings in other locations, typically in institutions or studios in New York City.