Welcome to Learning from Things

touring Hoentschel...

posted on 24 Apr 2013 13:13 by Elena Pinto Simon

BGC alums were treated to a curator-led tour of the Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, the main gallery show that opened last week.


Co-curators Ulrich Leben and Deborah Krohn led a lively discussion and walk-through for former students,
and spoke about both the origin and process for this project and many of the objects researched by the faculty and students. The Hoentschel project started as a class offering and evolved into a Main Gallery exhibit. Students worked on every aspect of the research and planning, including some of the work for the catalogue. The exhibition will be up in our gallery until August 4th.

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edible books.....and more...

posted on 18 Apr 2013 19:14 by Elena Pinto Simon

We celebrated Edible Book Day with typical BGC panache, with a yummy display of “books” designed to be admired, and then eaten, by a supportive, (and hungry) BGC community.


This relatively new tradition for the BGC (our second year of participation) was sponsored, organized and completely run by our wonderful Library staff. And as we did last year, the display was paired with a sale of used books to our community.
In the course of the morning and afternoon, almost everyone found a few moments to vote for their favorites, browse for a book or two (or three), and have a sweet treat.

Sometimes you can have your cake, and eat it, too!


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carrying coca....

posted on 05 Apr 2013 12:19 by Elena Pinto Simon


My colleagues, Nicola Sharratt, BGC and AMNH Postdoctoral Fellow, and Kimon Keramidas, who heads our Digital Media Lab, recently spent time in the collections of the American Museum of Natural History as Dr. Sharratt's class begins work for her upcoming Focus Gallery project, entitled "Carrying Coca".

Dr. Keramidas, who also runs a BLOG for the DML, has made an interesing entry about the group's first
encounter with the coca bags that will make up the main objects for the exhibition.

I thought you might like to read it, here:

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Salvaging the past.....

posted on 01 Apr 2013 18:13 by Elena Pinto Simon



Last week students, curators, conservators and BGC gallery staff spent a great evening together as we participated in an installation workshop for the Hoentschel exhibition that opens on April 3rd.

Organized and led by Nina Stritzler-Levine, Director of the Gallery, the two hour session walked students through the whole exhibition process – from first conception to the work that happened in the classroom, and in the basement of the MMA for over three semesters, to design issues, and finally to opening some of the boxes and watching as the art handlers put them into place. Conservators from the MMA talked about conservation problems and challenges that some of the furniture entailed, and how those decisions were made, in each case. While the curators of the exhibition – Professors Deborah Krohn and Ulrich Leben, along with their colleague and co-curator from the MMA Danielle Lisluk-Grosheide, each addressed the many aspects of this complicated exhibition along with some of the curatorial questions that arose during the several years of planning and work on Hoentschel.


Even in its unfinished state, the gallery rooms already look stunning.
Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens April 4th to the public, and runs through to August 11th.


For more information about this exhibition go to:


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Accepted Students Day....

posted on 01 Apr 2013 17:38 by Elena Pinto Simon


March 20th is the most important day on the recruitment calendar: it is BGC’s Accepted Student Day, and the first chance to bring together a large portion of the students who will make up the entering class of 2013.


The day is a very full one….introductions by Dean Peter N. Miller, faculty roundtable, where BGC faculty discuss their own journey to studying and thinking about material culture, a lunch with faculty and staff, classes to sit-in on, time in the Digital Media Lab, and an end-of-day tea in the Penthouse with many of our current students and faculty.


A great day – and one for potential students to really experience a “day in the life” at the BGC.

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