Student News

Interview of Carolee Schneemann by Alum

During her senior year at Bard Gracie Hadland ’18 interviewed artist Carolee Schneemann during the final year of her life.

Read it here



Notes from the Chair

AHVC Poster Session and Alumni Night

The Art History and Visual Culture Program held its annual Poster Session and Alumni night, Wednesday, December 11th in RKC Lobby.
Seniors talked about their projects using posters, a succinct visual presentation,  that displayed their main idea, and images and objects they were working with.  Seniors were able to “see” and discuss their peer’s projects. Alumni Chris McCloskey ’08 and Ehm West ’19 discussed their lives since graduating and gave advice on improving skill sets and getting jobs.  Salvatore’s Grandma Pizza and Tivoli Bakery treats completed the very enjoyable event.


Happenings at Bard

Prof. Susan Merriam’s Curiosity Cabinet Class Displays in the Vitrines

The students in Professor Susan Merriam’s Curiosity Cabinet course have done some fascinating work at Montgomery Place this semester. They’ve been delving into the collection, which houses more than 8,000 objects, to research some of the most unique pieces. The course explores the historical phenomenon of the curiosity cabinet, a precursor to the modern museum. Yesterday, they opened an exhibition at the Stevenson Library showcasing their work. Well done! #bardcollege #arthistory #hudsonvalley

Happenings at Bard

Montgomery Place and Susan Merriam’s Cabinet of Curiosities Class

You never know what you’ll find in the Montgomery Place collection! Professor Susan Merriam’s Cabinet of Curiosities class met at the mansion this week, continuing their study of some of the fascinating objects in the collection. Check out the mechanical cat, dueling pistols, and chicken foot letter opener.

Students have been researching objects that illuminate the historical phenomenon of the curiosity cabinet. These collections of oddities, as small as a box or as large as a room, are precursors to the modern museum. Students gave presentations on their research into items in the collection, discussing such themes as shifting colonial structures in the era of the objects, the romanticism of nature and early American identity, and Victorian death culture. Some of the objects and their research will be on display in an exhibit at the Stevenson Library in December. #bardcollege #arthistory #montgomeryplace

Notes from the Chair


MASS MoCA Winter/Spring 2020 Internships Internship Application Deadline: Monday, November 4th, at 6pm Internship Dates: Monday, January 27th – Sunday, May 10th 

Compensation: Housing & $150/week stipend 

All applicants must be US citizens, over the age of 18. Most interns MUST have a valid US driver’s license unless specified. 

Stage Tech / Performing Arts Production 

Interns work with the Production Coordinator, Master Carpenter, Master Electrician, House Sound Engineer, and house crew on all aspects of technical theatre, music, and films. This includes hands-on in all of the following areas – carpentry, lighting, sound, audio/visual, and running crew. You are not required to have a driver’s license. 

Visual Arts – Curatorial 

Intern assists in the day-to-day operations of a busy curatorial department and helps with the preparations for upcoming programs, as well as the maintenance of current exhibitions. Responsibilities consist of research, writing, administrative duties, assistance in the procuring of exhibition materials, installation of artworks as necessary, and any number of unexpected errands or jobs required to help maintain an ambitious exhibition program of contemporary art. Intern also works with the Education Department, receiving training to lead tours of exhibitions, interact with museum visitors, and develop focused “spotlight” talks on topics of special interest. This is a crucial part of the internship experience. The successful candidate should be self-sufficient and have an eye for detail, strong writing and research skills, and a positive attitude about performing many kinds of tasks on a demanding schedule. Must have driver’s license and be willing to do a fair amount of driving. 

Performing Arts Administration 

Intern works directly with the Managing Director of Performing Arts in the coordination of current and future season planning, general office work, and maintaining and updating all performing arts files, databases, and calendars. The intern will alternate between the Project Coordinator and Artist Services Director with drafting event programs, researching upcoming artists, assisting with front of house operations as well as with artist services to arrange transportation and housing logistics of visiting artists, staff, and fellow interns. You are required to have a valid US driver’s license. 

Graphic Design 

Intern assists in day-to-day tasks of the museum’s in-house design studio, working directly with the senior and junior graphic designers. Projects include production and installation of vinyl exhibition graphics and wayfinding signage; design and production of seasonal marketing collateral (posters, ads, social media graphics); vendor contact; upkeep of website components; and general studio tasks. The intern should demonstrate enthusiasm, stamina, good attention to detail, and willingness to work with a team. Excellent knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop) required. Interested applicants must submit a cover letter, résumé, and portfolio link in order to be considered for this internship. A driver’s license might be helpful, but is not required. 


Interns in the development department will work to help ensure the success of MASS MoCA’s fundraising activities, which supports $3.3m in annual income. Work will vary between specifics projects, for which the intern will have the opportunity to see the project from start to finish, and individual tasks on larger projects directed by department staff. The intern will gain experience in prospect research, grant-writing, direct mail solicitations, special events, membership programs, and database management. In an average week, you will spend approximately 40% of your time working on prospect research and proposal preparation, 40% on membership and individual giving, with the remaining 20% alternating as the workload requires. You are not required to have a driver’s license. 


The intern works on all aspects of marketing and public relations to support MASS MoCA’s visual and performing arts programs. There is a strong emphasis on groundwork: street-level marketing throughout western Massachusetts, northwest Connecticut, eastern-central New York, and southern Vermont. The marketing intern logs lots of miles spreading news about MASS MoCA events across our beautiful region. Days in the office include written contributions to social media, eblasts, websites, press releases, and other promotional material. The interns are responsible for preparing press kits and for keeping MASS MoCA’s event listings current on regional event calendars. The interns help with bulk mailings, occasionally staff an off-site information booth interacting with tourists, and sometimes join an ambassador team to attend concerts, comedy shows, and music festivals around the northeast to promote our extensive program of live events. Interns are expected to attend internal and interdepartmental marketing meetings, museum tours, and work a weekly shift at the museum’s busy Info Desk. If that sounds like a lot — it’s because it is — and we promise tons of fun along the way. A driver’s license and sense of humor are required. 


A fall education intern will focus on PreK-12 student and teacher engagement. This experiential internship is a great opportunity for a recently graduated college student who wants to gain experience working with school audiences in a contemporary art museum setting. The intern will be trained in the museum’s 3-pronged educational pedagogy ArtInSight, which incorporates conversational-style tours, mindfulness-based insight exercises, and hands-on art-making workshops, and then will implement these strategies as a lead tour guide. The intern will further support education programming by: assisting with teaching artist residency programs; supporting evaluation efforts; maintaining and monitoring art supplies; and conducting research for spring programming. 

Successful candidates should be self-sufficient, have an eye for detail, strong oral, writing, and research skills, an enthusiasm for public speaking, and strong customer service skills. They should be able to learn quickly and be confident in their abilities to take on “trial by fire” challenges. Preference is given to candidates with museum / art education experience. Weekend hours required. 

To apply to the MASS MoCA Internship Program: Send application form, cover letter, résumé, and two letters of references via email: [email protected] or fax to MASS MoCA c/o Meghan Labbee, Artist Services + Internship Program Director at 413.664.4519. 

Please visit to download the application form. All applications are due no later than Sunday, July 15, at 6pm EST. 

Faculty News

“Juanita Guccione: Reclaiming a Mystical Artist”

Susan Aberth’s essay, “Juanita Guccione: Reclaiming a Mystical Artist” was published in Juanita Guccione, Otherwhere which compliments an exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum in California. Les Femmes Surréalistes in their Spotlight Gallery runs from October 16 through October 27, 2019. Prof. Aberth will also be speaking at their symposium “Making HERstory: Today, Tomorrow and Yesterday – Reclaiming women in the arts,” October 26-27.

Student Opportunities

Call for Abstracts

This coming April, the Art History Association at SUNY New Paltz will host its second annual undergraduate student symposium. Last year’s event featuring students from collegiate institutions across New York’s Hudson Valley was such an overwhelming success that we have expanded the symposium. We believe that it is a valuable opportunity for Art History students to sharpen their research skills, network with faculty and students outside of their home institution, as well as gain valuable professional experience.  This symposium will allow students to present their past or present work, whether a research paper, an independent study, or an honors thesis to a wider audience. Each talk will be ten minutes in length followed by a brief question and answer session.

Abstracts of 300 words or less to may be sent to [email protected] until February 7, 2020. We ask that the submission also include the student’s name, major, academic year, institutional affiliation, and email. Students will be notified within two weeks after the submission deadline. The symposium will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2020 on the campus of SUNY New Paltz.


Faculty News

Susan Aberth has been named Edith C. Blum Professor of Art History

Susan Aberth is an art historian whose area of specialization is surrealism in Latin America. Aberth’s teaching interests focus on Latin American art, African art, Islamic art, and other religious art and practices. Additional interests include African religious practices in the Americas, and the art and iconography of Freemasonry, Spiritualism, and the occult. In addition to her 2004 book Leonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and Art (Lund Humphries), she has contributed to Seeking the Marvelous: Ithell Colquhoun, British Women and Surrealism (Fulgur Press, 2020), Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist (Phoenix Art Museum, 2019), Surrealism, Occultism and Politics: In Search of the Marvelous (Routledge Press, 2018), Leonora Carrington: Cuentos mágicos (Museo de Arte Moderno & INBA, Mexico City, 2018), Unpacking: The Marciano Collection (Delmonico Books, Prestel, 2017), and Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde (Manchester University Press, 2017), as well as to Abraxas: International Journal of EsotericStudiesBlack Mirror, and the Journal of Surrealism of the Americas. She received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles; MA from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; and PhD from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Aberth has been at Bard since 2000.

Notes from the Chair

Celebration of Life: Jean M. French

Professor Jean French passed away on Thursday, May 2, 2019.  As many of you know, Professor French was a dedicated scholar and loyal friend who inspired generations of Bard students to think passionately and deeply about medieval art.

Please join us on September 29 to celebrate her life with colleagues, family, and friends.

Ceremony: Bard Chapel 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Reception: Bard Hall 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Commemoration by Ted Dewsnap

Donations may be made to the Jean M. French Travel Award in Art History supporting undergraduate research (c/o Debra Pemstein, Office of Development and Alumni/ae Affairs, Bard College, P.O. Box 5000, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504; online: ; phone: 845 758 7405).

Faculty News

Woodstock Art Colony Symposium

Tom Wolf, Bard College, to speak on Thursday, May 2, 2019
12:30-4:00 pm
New York State Museum, Huxley Theatre

Free and Open to the Public

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