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Hello Alumni,

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting the Museum of Food and Drink’s exhibition, African/American: Making the Nation’s Table. I was drawn to the exhibit not only for its historical overview, but also for its installation of Ebony magazine’s Test Kitchen, salvaged from the Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago. Naturally, I was entranced by the groovy marbled wallpaper and immersive laminate surfaces–even the dishwasher was a swirl of orange, red, blue, and gold. Passing through, I could not help but give the storied island counter a gentle brush with my hand. Leaving the exhibit, I resolved that, if given the opportunity, I would paper over my entire apartment with the Ebony Test Kitchen’s pattern in a heartbeat. 

In other news, I am looking to start an Alumni Writing Group! Please see the “Alumni Spotlight” section below for more details. And as per usual, please get in touch with your news, either by email or through the online form.

Rachael Schwabe (MA ‘20)

Alumni Spotlight

John Stuart Gordon (MA ‘03), the Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Yale University Art Gallery has a new exhibition, Gold in America: Artistry, Memory, Power, on view until July 10, 2022. Congratulations, John!

Leonie Trier (PhD candidate) is presenting at The Future is Now: Emerging Perspectives in Museology and Museum Anthropology, a virtual symposium hosted by the Council for Museum Anthropology between March 25 – 26. Congratulations, Leonie!

As of late, I have been missing having a community of fellow researchers and writers with whom I can share in the writing process. With this in mind, I wonder if any alumni would be interested in creating a writing group that would meet once a month over Zoom. At this point, I am not sure what the structure of the group meetings would be, exactly–but maybe that’s something we can work out together depending on needs! If this sounds like something you might be interested in and/or excited about, please send me an email at

Select Career Opportunities

The Handwerker Gallery at Ithaca College is hiring a Director.

Tufts University has opened a search for an Art Sale Manager.

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College seeks an Executive Director.

The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African American Art at Harvard University is accepting applications for a Director.

Harvard Art Museums seeks interested candidates for a Norma Jean Calderwood Associate Curator of Islamic and Later Indian Art.

Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University is hiring a Curator of Education.

Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art has opened a search for a Deputy Director.  

Aperture seeks a Development Associate and an Executive Administrator.

Mystic Seaport Museum is accepting applications for a Collections Cataloger

The Maine Humanities Council is hiring an Executive Director.

DePaul University, Chicago has opened a search for a Curator.

Dumbarton Oaks seeks applicants for a Chief Curator.

Vassar College is in need of a Collections Cataloguer.

Skidmore College is hiring an Educator for K-12 and Community Programs.

The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) has announced their inaugural ISLAA Research Grant and issued a call for proposals. Application materials are due April 3.

The Coalition of Master’s Scholars on Material Culture (CMSMC) seeks proposals for its virtual Tools of the Trade Symposium to be held April 23, 2022. Application materials are due by March 18.

The DAR Museum in Washington, DC invites proposals for the upcoming symposium, “Impacts of a Nation,” to be held in person in Washington, DC on Frida, November 4, 2022. Application materials are due by May 6.

For more job listings: please visit the BGC job board.

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Select Events at BGC

Museum Affordances
Wednesday, March 16
6 – 7pm 
What do museums and their collections make possible? How can we activate these latent possibilities? Through such activation, can archives and collections assembled in the context of colonial scientific expeditions contribute to the project of decolonization? Over the last four years, we have been exploring these questions through an extended experiment in museum methods. Thinking with James Gibson’s concept of “affordance,” we have been examining how the possibilities perceived in collections change over time and context. Working with a remarkable assemblage of artefacts, photographs, sound recordings, botanical specimens and archival documents that constitute the material legacy of a series of anthropological surveys in West Africa in the early twentieth century, we have sought to understand what these things were perceived to afford historically and what they might afford today for different stakeholders and communities. Paul Basu’s talk provides an introduction to the work of the Museum Affordances / [Re:]Entanglements project.

Select Virtual and In-Person Events Out in The World

Hands on History: Irish Immigrant Women
Saturday, March 5
1 – 4 pm (In Person)
March 8th is International Women’s Day, but March is also Irish Heritage Month. In celebration of the Irish immigrant women who worked at King Manor, visit its historic kitchen to learn about their lives in the United States and make a craft young Irish women would have brought to remind them of their country of origin.

Contemporary Voices: Angela Hennessy
Tuesday, March 8
7 pm ET
Join the George Washington University Textile Museum online for a talk with artist Angela Hennessy on memorializing the dead as a critical act of survival and resilience. Many artists turn to their aesthetic and somatic practices in the face of loss. By their proximity to bodies, textiles are intimately positioned to serve in the work of mourning. As testimony, evidence, and witness, textiles mediate the relationship between the living and the dead through structure, metaphor, and materiality.

Werksatz (First Work Set) Activation
Saturday, March 12
1 – 3 pm (In Person)
To mark the opening of Garmenting: Costume as Contemporary Art, Museum of Art and Design visitors are invited to participate in the activation of Franz Erhard Walther’s Werksatz (First Work Set), a pioneering work of participatory art the artist introduced in 1963. Trained facilitators will collaborate with visitors to activate Walther’s wearable fabric sculptures, which are completed through individual or collective participation. Werksatz (First Work Set) has not been activated in New York City in over a decade, making this a must-see event for anyone interested in contemporary art.

Judge a Book By Its Cover
Monday, March 14
12 – 1:30 ET
Do you judge books by their covers? What makes you pick up a book or magazine? A successful cover design might allude to the content within its pages, invoke feelings, or communicate a powerful message. Designers make distinct choices to create this dynamic first impression and invite people to open the book. Join us for a virtual panel discussion in celebration of Cooper Hewitt’s current exhibition, Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer, offering perspectives on Kauffer’s book covers and exploring how they have influenced book cover design today. Moderated by Caitlin Condell, Head of Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design at Cooper Hewitt, panelists will include Gail Anderson, designer, writer, and educator, and Steven Heller, author and editor.

Fit for a Palace: The Craze for Safavid Carpets in Seventeenth-Century Europe
Tuesday, March 15
12 – 1 pm
In the fifteenth century, the city of Venice was the principal gateway for the arrival of highly valued knotted-pile carpets with geometric designs from the Ottoman Empire. When the Portuguese opened the sea route to India in 1498, Asian carpets became more accessible to consumers in Europe. In Iran, the Safavids decided to seize the opportunity and capture this new overseas market. A revolution occurred in Safavid production with the rise of an urban carpet industry that reacted swiftly, embarking on innovative changes to materials, colors, designs, and dimensions to compete with cheaper Turkish carpets. In Europe, a craze ensued as the elite looked to substitute their old-fashioned geometric carpets with new floral ones, turning the floors of their palaces into gardens. In this talk, Jessica Hallett, curator of the Middle East and China at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, will address how the synergy between makers in Iran and consumers in Europe created this “craze.”

Holbein and Thomas More: An Intimate Portrait
Thursday, March 17, 2022
6:30 pm (In person)
Hans Holbein the Younger’s portrait of Sir Thomas More, painted in 1527, is one of the pinnacles of the artist’s career. Xavier F. Salomon, Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator of the Frick Collection, explores the friendship between artist and sitter, which developed during Holbein’s first trip to London, and the wider network of scholarly exchanges that informed the creation of this work of art. 


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