June 18, 2015 - Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College - CCS Bard announces major expansion of Library and Archives
June 18, 2015

Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College

Design: Rendering of Structured Expansion by Liam Gillick, 2015.

CCS Bard announces major expansion of Library and Archives

Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
33 Garden Road
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York 12504-5000
United States

T +1 845 758 7598


The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) is pleased to announce a major expansion of its facilities. With construction beginning in June 2015, The Hessel Museum of Art and CCS Bard Library and Archives will be closed for the summer with portions of the facility reopening in September 2015. The Center will fully reopen in Spring 2016 with the graduate thesis exhibitions of the curatorial program, followed by a major exhibition from the Marieluise Hessel Collection, including many new and previously unseen recent acquisitions, scheduled for June of 2016. The expansion has been designed by New York-based architects, HWKN (Hollwich Kushner), and includes a complete interior rebuild and expansion of the CCS Bard Library and Archives, in addition to doubling the number of teaching spaces and classrooms in the building. 

The 3 million USD expansion also includes a new 3,600 square foot Archives, Special Collections, Visible Storage, and Collection Teaching area designed by artist Liam Gillick, which will include a large wall drawing in colored ink wash by Sol LeWitt, Wall drawing #475, Double asymmetrical pyramids (1986), and two new wall vinyl acquisitions by Louise Lawler, all from the permanent collection. Titled Structured Expansion (2015), Gillick's work comprises a major new wall work by the artist, an archive system combined with seating, and an entrance system for the secure part of the archive. The work continues the artist's interest in the aesthetics of institutional structures and the semiotics of the built world. The work is completed by a text running around the top of the study area, which details the original schedule of classes at the legendary Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

The new space will provide a unique study area with access to the more than 2,500 artworks in the Marieluise Hessel Collection and the Bard College Collection, rare and limited edition publications, as well as archives and manuscripts. With a focus upon artistic and curatorial practices from the 1960s to the present day, the expansion creates a unique platform for research, exhibition preparation, and teaching. Reconfigured galleries will also allow for exhibitions of archival materials previously unavailable for public view.

The expansion responds to a period of enormous growth in the Library and Archives at the Center. Established in 1990 by CCS Bard co-founder, Marieluise Hessel, with a significant donation of her personal library, the CCS Bard Library has grown from a collection of 20,000 volumes in 2008 to 30,000 volumes currently. The Archives have expanded from 250 linear feet in 2008 to over 1,200 linear feet today. The CCS Bard Library and Archives were originally designed by Chicago-based architects, Goetsch and Partners, with a number of single-function spaces to largely accommodate the research needs of the graduate students in the MA program in Curatorial Studies. The Library was expanded in 2006 alongside the inauguration of the Hessel Museum of Art. Since 2008, students and faculty from CCS Bard, the larger Bard College community, as well as outside scholars and researchers have increasingly expressed the need for expanded collection access, engagement, and use. The new design connects the research facilities with underground artwork storage, integrating the multiple resources of the Center and includes a major technology upgrade.

In addition to the many recent acquisitions to the Marieluise Hessel Collection—including new works by Rachel Rose, Philippe Parreno, Hito Steyerl and Jutta Koether, among others—in 2012, CCS Bard acquired the Colin de Land, American Fine Arts, Co. and Pat Hearn Gallery Archives (for which a major exhibition is planned for 2017), and in 2013 received the gift of the John Hanhardt Archive, a unique history of exhibitions and artists working with the moving image over the past fifty years (from Nam June Paik to Cory Arcangel). In December 2015, the Center received a substantial gift of 200 contemporary artworks from collectors Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg.

The CCS Bard Library and Archives serve as the connective tissue bridging the educational, interpretive, and research needs of the institution and its constituencies, with the rich resources of the Hessel Museum of Art.  The 2015 expansion of the CCS Bard Library and Archives serves as a significant acknowledgement of the expanded role the Library and Archives play at CCS Bard, and as cultural platforms in today's contemporary art world at large. As a test bed and laboratory for curatorial research, the faculty and students of the Center for Curatorial Studies increasingly require access to more flexible and adaptive spaces for non-exhibition driven forms of research and practice. The newly designed discursive and research spaces will be areas where the full range of collection resources from the Library & Archives and the Hessel Museum of Art can be actively mixed and engaged with meeting current and future needs, and ultimately supporting innovation and experimentation in the contemporary arts within an educational and exhibition-driven context. 

Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
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