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  • Core: Proseminar

    The Proseminar equips student with the skills required for scholarship in the history, theory and curation of decorative arts and design. The course examines the range of methods employed by historians in order to understand artworks and objects, including Biography, Formalism, Psychoanalytic Theory, Iconography, Semiotics, Post-Structuralism, Marxism, Material Culture Studies, Feminism, and Postcolonial Theory. Through…

  • Core: Survey of Decorative Arts I

    This course presents a broad introduction to European decorative arts from the 15th through the 18th centuries, focusing on Italy, France, England, and the Netherlands. Issues of style, function, and meaning of objects in both public and private life will be explored. In class lectures and through readings that reflect a variety of scholarly approaches, the decorative…

  • Core: Survey of Decorative Arts II

    This course traces significant developments in the history of decorative arts and design from 1800-2000 in Europe and America. Interiors, ceramics, metal work, graphics, fashion and furniture will be discussed and situated within their cultural, social, and political context. Lectures will consider how taste, gender, technology, new materials, patterns of production and consumption, and changing…

  • Core: History of Collections and Museums

    While the primary mission of an art museum is to preserve, protect, and display objects, these institutions play a significant role in shaping the political, social, and cultural values of a given era. This class traces key moments and models in the history of this Western institution from medieval times to the present, from curiosity…

  • French Graduate Reading Seminar

    This class is designed for graduate students who need to read books and articles in French to support their research projects. It is open to students with no previous knowledge of this language. French grammar and usage are introduced through practice in translation.   The first semester of the course aims to highlight some of…

  • Redefining Modernity: French Design from 1900-1939

    Expressing modernity was of prime importance to designers and decorative artists in the early decades of the 20th century, spurring the development of a number of new styles and design movements in France and beyond. L’Art Nouveau, the “New Art” of the Belle Époque, heralded a definitive break from previous styles, launching a quest to…

  • Cultural Pluralism

    This course will examine cultural pluralism in curatorial practice, or the ethics of representing art and design practices across cultural contexts. Course material begins with the colonial exhibitions and ethnographic museums from the 19th Century, and moves into contemporary debates about the political efficacy of the biennial and other large-scale exhibitions. The aim is for…

  • Objects, Archive, Interface

    The correlation between academic research and curatorial practice is both a far from obvious process and a crucial mean to recontextualize artifacts in the peculiar environment of museums. In recent years, the rise of the digital age and the development of new media and technologies have been both a fantastic and underestimated opportunity for scholars…

  • Curatorial Seminar

    Over the last decades, exhibitions have become prime vehicles for intellectual, cultural and socio-political expression. Along with them, a plethora of publications have appeared on the topic. Curating is a relatively young field with short history. It certainly borrows from the more established disciplines of art history and cultural studies, but it is still in…

  • Bodies in Space

    With the death of academic art – it has indeed died numerous times since the 19th century –, new forms of making and new ways of being in the public sphere have emerged. In fact, the more we reflect on bodies in space, on contemporary works in museum or the street, the more the relationships…