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CCS Bard Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

Established in 1990, the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS Bard) is an incubator for experimentation in exhibition-making and the leading institution dedicated exclusively to curatorial studies—a discipline exploring the historical, intellectual, and social conditions that inform curatorial practice.

Throughout its 30-year history, the CCS Bard Graduate Program in Curatorial Studies has actively recruited perspectives underrepresented in contemporary art and cultivated a student body representing a diverse spectrum of backgrounds in a broad effort to transform the curatorial field. The Graduate Program is uniquely positioned within the larger Center’s tripartite resources, which include the CCS Bard Library and Archives and the Hessel Museum of Art, which actively draws from the Marieluise Hessel Collection of Contemporary Art, comprised of more than 3,000 objects collected contemporaneously from the 1960s to the present day. The CCS Bard Library is one of the foremost contemporary art research collections in the United States focusing on post-1960s contemporary art, curatorial practice, exhibition histories, theory and criticism and includes over 38,000 volumes. The CCS Bard Archive provides access to a wide range of primary materials documenting the history of the contemporary visual arts and the institutions and practices of exhibition-making since the 1960s. The Hessel Museum of Art, a 17,000-square-foot facility built in 2006, presents experimental group exhibitions and monographic exhibitions organized by graduate students, CCS Bard curatorial staff, and guest curators from around the world.

CCS Bard’s 30th anniversary year of programming (originally planned for 2020 but postponed due to Covid-19) builds on these resources and history to examine the latest ideas in contemporary art and curatorial practice. It includes new scholarship and significant exhibitions drawn from the Marieluise Hessel Collection, solo and group exhibitions of emerging artists and underexplored art movements, and gatherings investigating critical topics in contemporary curatorial practice including a conference devoted to Black exhibition histories titled Reshaping the Field: Arts of the African Diasporas on Display. Running from spring through fall 2021, CCS Bard’s 30th anniversary year of programming reflects the multifaced work of a groundbreaking institution dedicated to advancing and reinventing the curatorial field.

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Essay from “Closer to Life” by CCS Bard Co-Founder Marieluise Hessel

30th Anniversary Exhibitions:

30th Anniversary Events:

30th Anniversary Publications: