The Bard Graduate Center offers degrees in decorative arts, design arts, and material culture, so it's natural for students and faculty to curate fascinating and academic exhibitions exploring the history of art and design. The gallery space managed by Bard is housed in an Upper West Side townhouse and is open to the public during its diverse, changing exhibitions. Topics can be esoteric or heavily specialized but always interesting and presented in an accessible and interesting way.

[to] break down traditional barriers between academic and curatorial forms of inquiry.
- Bard Center Mission Statement

What You Will See

The gallery, which is has generous free days and a suggested admission otherwise, is located in a beautiful Upper West Side townhouse. The permanent collection is tiny, as the gallery focuses on rotating its display. The sheer variety of topics explored in previous exhibits make it impossible to predict what will be shown at the Bard. Topics range between a look at the history of personal computer interfaces and glasswork during the golden age of Ancient Rome. Watch the calendar for something interesting, or just stop by and take a risk. You will be rewarded either way.

Why You Should Go

New York City is not short on design museums and galleries. From the Cooper-Hewitt to MoMA and MAD, major institutions hold vast collections of contemporary and historical design objects. These small galleries may not match the breadth of collection found in larger museums, but the passion, expertise, and focus of the Bard make its exhibits comparable to the even the blockbusters at others. Some of the exhibition topics may not initially sound interesting, but if you take the risk and trust the Bard, you will leave with a new passion.

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