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Happy Spring, BGC Community!

The academic year is almost over, and there’s been a lot of Study Collection activity worth celebrating.

A new set of beautiful floor-to-ceiling Study Collection cabinets are now on the second floor of 38 West 86th right outside the Library Reading Room and are quickly filling up with our latest acquisitions. Come take a look!

This semester Assistant Professor Mei Mei Rado conducted a well-attended workshop on textile handling where she demonstrated such skills as padding, transporting and flipping over garments. At the end of April, NYU Professor Elizabeth Morano brought students from her 19th Century Fashion: Sources and Methods course to the Object Lab (now slated to be a yearly occurrence) to view a large number of Study Collection costumes from our Mary D. Doering collection, donated by Susan Weber.

Left: Mei Mei Rado demonstrating padding garments with BGC students. Textile Handling Workshop, March 2023. Object Lab.

Right: NYU 19th Century Fashion: Sources and Methods class observing costumes from the Mary D. Doering collection, April 2023. Object Lab.



Just before the winter break, we acquired a much-anticipated gift of nearly 250 combs from the collection of centenarian quilter Bets Ramsey. Substantial numbers of these objects are from Africa, Asia, and South America, and there are many American Folk Art examples. A highlight is a large wooden fertility comb hand-carved by the Ashanti (Asante) people of Ghana.

PhD student Boxi Liu with a hand-carved Ashanti wood comb donated by Bets Ramsey.


2023 donations included a significant gift of ceramics from downtown Manhattan’s Greenwich House Pottery. The majority of the objects–many large in scale–came with minimal information and will be ideal for student research. BGC alum Kaitlin McClure (MA 2016), GHP’s Gallery & Residency Manager, spearheaded this donation. Objects include several examples of glazed American jugs and European Chinoiserie. One sizable, roughly repaired vessel–perhaps a water jug–is likely Acoma Pueblo.

Roughly repaired vessel, perhaps a water jug. Likely Acoma Pueblo. Repository: Bard Graduate Center Study Collection (New York, New York, USA), Gift of Greenwich House Pottery.


We were fortunate to receive close to 200 examples of Schiffli lace and embroidery drawings from the collection of lace merchant Max Schoenfeld (1850 -1911), donated by Andrea Black Jeffries, a former fabric designer in Manhattan’s Garment District. She had heard about Threads of Power through lacemaker Devon Thein, a member of the Brooklyn Lace Guild who participated in the acclaimed Lacemaker’s Studio that took place every Saturday during the run of the exhibition. Threads of Power co-curator Emma Cormack published a blog post for Yale University Press that included information about this important gift.

Left: Drawing for machine embroidery or lace, Gift of Andrea Black Jeffries.

Right: Study Collection Manager Barb Elam viewing the lace and embroidery drawing collection.

Selected new acquisitions include:

  • “New Look” mink stole, ca. 1947–1950s, donated by Claude-Albert Saucier in honor of Michele Majer
  • Men’s collar, ca. 1920s; table center with crochet trim, ca. 1950; various doilies with lace and crochet trim, ca. 1930; Venetian Salviati goblet, ca. mid-20th century, and Louis Vuitton bag, ca. 1960s, donated by Claude-Albert Saucier
  • Oaxaca, Mexican animal (cow) bell attributed to Josephina Aguilar, donated by Jeffrey L. Collins
  • 11 ceramic pieces, many large scale, and one Chinese reclining nude ivory figure, donated by Greenwich House Pottery
  • French chasuble, probably late 19th or early 20th century, donated by Carole Melman in memory of Josette Melman and Abbé Quinton
  • Lace stitched to substrate, donated by Paula Dicker Gold
  • “är’ti-fakt-s” office desk accessories designed by New Zealand industrial designer Peter Haythornthwaite, donated by Mayla Favor
  • Bodice with detached sleeves (white satin with very fine blue and brown stripes and a red-and-white warp-float stripe with a black silk lace overlay), ca. 1900-1905, donated in honor of Ulrich Leben

Left: “New Look” mink stole, ca. 1947–1950s. Bard Graduate Center Study Collection, Gift of Claude-Albert Saucier in honor of Michele Majer.

Right: MA student Raphael Michaels with animal (cow) bell attributed to Josephine Aguilar donated by Jeffrey L. Collins.

Viewing Objects

The Study Collection is now fully open for object viewing and can be accessed most weekdays. Please contact for an appointment. Appointments can also be made through Earl Martin or by contacting the library at