Alexis Gregory Curatorial Practice Program
The Alexis Gregory Curatorial Practice Program introduces graduate students to diverse aspects of curatorial practice within the context of a museum. Drawing on the richness of The Met’s collections, which represents thousands of years of human creativity from across the globe, as well as the depth and breadth of its staff’s expertise, this program explores the complexities of curating in the present by focusing on object-based analysis, research, exhibition planning, collection building, gallery display, and curatorial methodologies. Course content foregrounds some of the most pressing ethical, social, and political matters facing curators and museums today.
Offering students direct access to the staff, the Alexis Gregory Curatorial Practice Program cycle includes one General Seminar that addresses key issues of curatorial practice; and one Focused Seminar that is a semester-long critical and in-depth analysis of one or more specific museum projects, such as exhibitions and collection displays.
Seminars are taught by Met curators, conservators, and other colleagues across the Museum, often in partnership with professors from Consortium Universities*.
The Alexis Gregory Curatorial Practice Program is open to all M.A. and Ph.D. students in Consortium Universities* and M.A. students at Hunter College.
Course information and applications are distributed through these graduate programs in advance of the fall and spring semesters.
The Alexis Gregory Curatorial Practice Program Advisory Committee, reporting to the Director’s Office, provides guidance for the program and acts as its advisory body.
Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art
Sarah Lawrence, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Curator in Charge of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Laura Corey, Project Manager for Curatorial, Conservation, and Science Initiatives, and Senior Researcher, Director’s Office
Please send any questions to email@example.com.
- Bard Graduate Center
- Columbia University
- CUNY Graduate Center
- Hunter College
- NYU Institute of Fine Arts
- Princeton University
- Rutgers University
- Stony Brook University
- Yale University
- Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art & Coordinating Curator, Curatorial Practice Program
- Sarah Lawrence, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Curator in Charge, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts & Coordinating Curator, Curatorial Practice Program
- Andrea Bayer, Deputy Director for Collections and Administration
- Heidi Holder, Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education
- Michael Gallagher, Sherman Fairchild Chairman of Paintings Conservation
- Sean Hemingway, John A. and Carole O. Moran Curator in Charge, Greek and Roman Art
- Amelia Peck, Marica F. Vilcek Curator & Supervising Curator of the Ratti Textile Center
- Stephan Wolohojian, John Pope-Hennessy Curator in Charge of the Department of European Paintings
Spring 2023 Course
January 20–May 5, 2023
Using the exhibition Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina as a model, this graduate-level seminar course explores emerging modes of curatorial practice at The Met. This course will deconstruct and examine the process of developing Hear Me Now, a multi-year collaboration that was shaped by external input and expertise, decentralizing the museum as the authoritative voice. Guest lecturers will include museum staff as well as outside partners, and discussions will range from exhibition space and design, interpretation strategy, and research methodology to community engagement, museum hierarchies, and restorative practice. The course examines the ways in which this exhibition makes several key interventions and suggests a possible framework to rethink curatorial approaches and catalyze change in museum practice.
Taught by Adrienne Spinozzi, Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts
This course is limited to 12 students.
Fall 2022 Course
September 9–December 16, 2022
Offering privileged access to the staff and resources of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, this graduate-level seminar examines key issues of curatorial practice through direct engagement with the Museum's collections and staff. The course frames a series of investigations to introduce students to a broad range of curatorial topics, looking to the Museum as a laboratory for study. Discussions will center around objects, the Museum as steward of them, and the ways in which they are considered in temporary and permanent installations. Guest lecturers will feature a range of museum staff –curators, conservators, designers, scientists–to consider the most pressing ethical, social, and political matters facing curators and museums today, such as sustainability, repatriation, the acquisition and display of racially sensitive art, community engagement, cultural heritage, and rightsizing the Museum.
Taught by Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art, and Sarah Lawrence, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Curator in Charge of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, Coordinating Curators, Curatorial Practice Program
This course is limited to 12 students.
Spring 2020 Course
February 7–May 8, 2020
Fridays, 2–4 pm
Offering privileged access to the staff and resources of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, this graduate-level seminar examines key issues of curatorial practice through direct engagement with the Museum's collections and curators. The course is not a comprehensive survey but rather frames a series of investigations to introduce students to a broad range of curatorial topics, looking to the Museum as a laboratory for study. Discussions will center around objects, the Museum as steward of them, and the ways in which they are considered in temporary and permanent installations. Most meetings will be led by a guest curator or member of the Museum's staff granting students direct access to their expertise.
Taught by Stephan Wolohojian, Jayne Wrightsman Curator, European Paintings and Coordinating Curator, Curatorial Practice Program.
This course is limited to 15 students.
Fall 2019 Course
September 6 – December 13, 2019
Fridays, 12:30 – 2:30 pm
The re-invention of the technique of etching in the late fifteenth century represents one of the pivotal moments in the history of printmaking. Etching moved out of the workshop of armor decorators and into those of painters and printmakers. The technical ease of essentially drawing on the surface of a coated metal plate opened the door for artists of varied experience to make prints. Outstanding practitioners include some of the great masters of this period, among them Albrecht Dürer, Parmigianino, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. This seminar, organized around the Met’s exhibition The Renaissance of Etching (October 21, 2019 – January 19, 2020) will explore not only printmaking in this period through the examination of original works but also the curatorial practices and approaches involved in creating the exhibition.
Taught by Nadine Orenstein, Drue Heinz Curator in Charge, Department of Drawings and Prints; and Freyda Spira, Associate Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints
The course is limited to 15 students.
Spring 2019 Courses
This seminar is focused on an international loan exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The World between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East, which presents a new perspective on the art and culture of the Middle East during the period of the Parthian and Roman empires' struggle for regional control (ca. 100 B.C.–250 A.D.). Students learn in both the classroom and the exhibition.
Taught by Dr. Blair Fowlkes-Childs, Research Associate, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art; and Dr. Michael Seymour, Assistant Curator, Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art
This seminar is organized around the study of pottery, baskets, weavings, and other tailored textiles on display in the exhibition Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection. This landmark long-term display, the first to present Indigenous North American art in the Museum's American Wing, invites the close analysis of more than 100 objects, over half of which were created by women. Meeting weekly in the galleries and joined several times during the semester by an Indigenous artist, curator, or scholar, the seminar investigates how to see and understand women's work in the sourcing and preparation of materials, in the conceptualization of design and decoration, in the crafting of finished pieces, and in their use. Discussions center on a single object, with related pieces brought in to deepen the investigations.
Taught by Professor Elizabeth Hutchinson, Associate Professor, Barnard/Columbia University