Marking its Twentieth Birthday, this symposium examines the elements of practice and theory that have come to define the Bard Graduate Center. An array of speakers from across the national, disciplinary, and institutional spectrum will put the achievements of the past twenty years in context, and also outline paths into the future. The morning session will concentrate on issues relevant to the future of exhibitions, examining display and interpretation, publishing and the digital challenge, and how philosophy might inform museum practice, while the afternoon focuses on the role of the research institute, ways of defining good research, research as a way of life, and the necessity of research for teaching.

Morning Panel

“Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going From Here”
Nina Stritzler-Levine, Director, Bard Graduate Center Gallery/Gallery Publications

“Playful Simplicity: The Making of the New Rijksmuseum”
Taco Dibbits, Director of Collections, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

“Exhibitions for the Real World: Contemporary Design at MoMA”
Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture & Design, and Director, Research and Development, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

“Meta-Monet: The Journey from Print to Digital at The Art Institute of Chicago”
Jill Shaw, Co-General Editor, Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI), and Research Associate, Department of Medieval to Modern European Painting and Sculpture, The Art Institute of Chicago

“Word and Object”
Garry Hagberg, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics, Bard College

“The Museum of Big Ideas”
Ivan Gaskell, Professor, Curator and Head of the Focus Gallery, Bard Graduate Center

Afternoon Panel

“’Basic Research’ as the Life-Giving Force in Humanities Teaching and Scholarship”
Peter N. Miller, Dean and Professor, Bard Graduate Center

“BGC at Forty”
Leon Botstein, President of the College and Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Bard College

“The Administration of Serendipity: What is a Research Institute?”
Joachim Nettelbeck, Former Secretary of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin)

“Basic Research with Potentials of Relevance”
Harriet Zuckerman, Professor Emerita of Sociology, Columbia University, and Senior Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

“Research as Performance”
Michael Shanks, Professor of Classics and Classical Archaeology, Stanford University

“Research and Teaching: Against the Idea of the Two Cultures”
Larry Wolff, Professor of History and Director of the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University

The symposium is free. It will take place at the Lecture Hall at 38 West 86th Street, between Columbus Avenue & Central Park West, in New York City.

RSVP is required. Please click on the registration link at the bottom of this page or contact

Please note that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. Registrants who arrive late may be seated in an overflow viewing area.