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Dear BGC Community,

Take a breather at the end of the school year by visiting our revamped Study Collection spaces! Improvements since the start of the semester include beautiful new custom storage shelving in the Object Lab (310) and a remodeled former VMR public area that allows for better facilities to receive, process, and photograph new gifts. Also, in 310, a new large display screen and Windows PC allow for class presentations and Zoom meetings to take place.

In addition to the enhancements, for the first time, a Study Collection object is featured in one of our BGC Gallery exhibitions: a repaired transferware platter with camel pattern given to us by Lenore and Stephen Blank. This piece–frequently used by students and professors–is currently on view in Conserving Active Matter. Another beginning for us was “Get Glassy,” the first of a series of materials workshops, which took place in April. For this hands-on hour, Earl Martin, Barb Elam, and students explored the range of glass in the collection, from a seventeenth-century Persian flask to studio glass of the late twentieth century, and the various techniques of decoration and making represented.

Stay tuned for an inaugural display from the Study Collection in the Object Lab, to be installed in the coming weeks!


Left: “Get Glassy” workshop, April 2, 2022. Right: Earl Martin mocking up the inaugural Study Collection display.



Installation view, Richard Tuttle: What is the Object?, Bard Graduate Center. Photo by Da Ping Luo.

In April 2019, we received fifty objects from the personal collection of contemporary artist Richard Tuttle, whose exhibition Richard Tuttle: What is the Object? is on view at BGC until July 10. The collection–particularly strong in ceramics–contains objects originating from China, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Spain, Bohemia, and the United States, among others. Close to 175 additional Tuttle items that will likely become future gifts were loaned to us for the exhibition. These include objects from Tuttle’s residences in New York, Maine, and New Mexico and are an eclectic mix: from cast iron items to ancient coins to a Somalian Koranic Writing Tablet. This semester, Tuttle taught a course in our Object Lab with Dean Peter N. Miller that coincided with the installation and opening of his exhibition. Students in the course recently completed a digital zine that will be hosted on the Richard Tuttle: What is the Object? website.

Left: Bowl with repair, Swiss, nineteenth century. Glazed earthenware, metal. Bard Graduate Center Study Collection, Gift of Richard Tuttle and Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. Right: Inkstone wetter, Korean, Choson dynasy, 1810. Glazed ceramic. Bard Graduate Center Study Collection, Gift of Richard Tuttle and Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. 

Woman’s Bodice, European or American, 1840s. Silk. Bard Graduate Center Study Collection, Gift of Susan Weber.


In December 2020, BGC Director Susan Weber, in consultation with assistant professor Michele Majer, and Cora Ginsburg gallery director and owner Titi Halle, purchased a group of items being sold by Leslie Hindman Auctions from the collection formed by Mary D. Doering, a noted textile scholar and educator. Majer, who describes the collection as, “an excellent representation of (primarily women’s) nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century garments,” provided this overview of the gift:

The pieces range from everyday printed cotton dresses to silk evening gowns and a wool walking suit with an NYC label as well as a late-nineteenth-century riding habit with two jackets, a skirt and breeches. [It] also includes several corsets and bustles that allow students to get a sense of the foundation garments that created the changing nineteenth-century silhouette.

The Doering collection has already been consulted numerous times, including for Majer’s spring 2021 Nineteenth-Century Fashion course and the 2021 Undergraduate Summer School in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.

BGC MA student Ellen Enderele in the Object Lab viewing pieces from the Doering collection in the spring 2021 Nineteenth-Century Fashion course.


Barb and the Study Collection team embarked on a large-scale photography project in February, shooting the entirety of both John Lillis’s Southeast Asian textiles and the Doering costume collection, amounting to close to 150 items. An entire two weeks of climbing ladders, adjusting lights, and handling bulky, often unwieldy, quite sizable pieces resulted in an archive of images for our researchers. A special thank-you to BGC students Antonia Anagnostopoulos, Jane Ayers, Kenna Libes, Nicholas De Godoy Lopes, Josh Massey, Isabella Margi, and BGC library fellow Vic Panata, who helped with the project. The Doering collection is now accessible in Artstor, and the Lillis collection is in its final processing stages.

BGC MA student Isabella Margi with BGC library fellow Vic Panata unfolding a long silk Malagesy textile, Gift of John Lillis, for photography.

Selected new acquisitions include:

  • Three-piece cotton dress, 1870s; length of silk from a dress, English (Spitalfields); mid-eighteenth century; embroidered shawl (“turnover”), India, ca. 1860s, donated by Donna Ghelerter
  • “Museum Service” cup and saucer (cup with original downturned handle), designed by Eva Zeisel ca. 1942-45, produced ca. 1946, donated by Earl Martin
  • Collection of 36 compacts, some New York-themed, ca. 1890s-1940s, donated by Ann Meyer in memory of Ronnie Shaw
  • Hand-painted wallpaper with branches and bird design, possibly made by the Gracie firm, ca. 1960s or 1970s, donated by Claude R. Saucier
  • Sample of copper from Lake Superior; silver toaster tongs, British, ca. 1890-1910, donated by Allan T. Kohl, librarian, Visual Resources and Library Instruction, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design
  • Collection of shrines from Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala, late nineteenth-twentieth centuries; bronze Sukhothai buddha figure, date unknown; thirteen small bronze and iron ganesha figures, India, eighteenth-nineteenth century, donated by Susan M. Yecies
  • Full-length silk dress, American, ca. 1870s, donated by Michele Majer
  • One roller-printed and six plate-printed cottons, French, late eighteenth-nineteenth century, from the collection of Elinor Merrill, donated by Titi Halle/Cora Ginsburg Gallery

Shrine with saint and animals, Peru, mid-20th century or before. Bard Graduate Center Study Collection, Promised Gift of Susan M. Yecies.

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