GW Corcoran Smithsonian MA Program in Decorative Arts & Design History

GW Corcoran Smithsonian MA Program in Decorative Arts & Design History MA Program in Decorative Arts and Design History A comprehensive grounding of European and American decorative arts and design history complemented with a consideration of non-Western art.

In addition to theoretical and contextual studies, academic skills are built through courses that focus on furniture, textiles, interiors, design, ceramics, glass, costume, craft, and metalwork. Our students move on to become curators, historians, academicians, conservators, and specialists in the field of decorative arts. IG:@gw_corcoran_dadh

Image ©2011 National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; ‘Sack back’ gown and matching petticoat, 1764. Smithsonian Institution. Gift of Robert Livingstone in memory of Mrs. Theodore Strong. https://www.si.edu/termsofuse/

Operating as usual

Hope to see you there!
05/06/2021
GW Culture Buffs: the "Dirty South" 05-07-2021 - The George Washington University

Hope to see you there!

Join us for an exclusive GW Culture Buffs event featuring GW alumnus, Alex Nyerges, CCAS BA '79, MA '82, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) and Paul Rucker, visiting professor of community engagement at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design. They will discuss Paul’s upcoming 20...

Starting tomorrow, check out the fantastic artists and works showcased in the Smithsonian  Women's Committee CRAFT OPTIM...
04/23/2021

Starting tomorrow, check out the fantastic artists and works showcased in the Smithsonian Women's Committee CRAFT OPTIMISM, a climate-conscious virtual gallery and maker's market.
https://craftoptimism.si.edu/artists/

Starting tomorrow, check out the fantastic artists and works showcased in the Smithsonian Women's Committee CRAFT OPTIMISM, a climate-conscious virtual gallery and maker's market.
https://craftoptimism.si.edu/artists/

04/16/2021

We are excited for the opening of The Historic New Orleans Collection exhibition "Pieces of History: Ten Years of Decorative Arts Fieldwork," exploring the objects documented by Decorative Arts of the Gulf South (DAGS) - previously known as the Classical Institute of the South. We are especially proud of the HDA and DADH alums who have participated in the on-going field work!

https://www.hnoc.org/exhibitions/pieces-history-ten-years-decorative-arts-fieldwork?link&utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DAGSandPOHannouncement%3ACISstakeholders&utm_content=version_A&promo=1779

Join us on Saturday, April 17 via Zoom from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm ET as we support our students, graduates and faculty in ...
04/13/2021
Cotsen Textile Traces Student Colloquium | The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum | The George Washington University

Join us on Saturday, April 17 via Zoom from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm ET as we support our students, graduates and faculty in the Cotsen Textile Traces Student Colloquium, hosted by The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
Learn more! https://museum.gwu.edu/cotsen-textile-traces-student-colloquium

A 10th-century textile from Iran (T-1930) and a loupe are displayed on glass above a 15th-century textile from India (T-2066) in the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Center. Photo by Harrison Jones / The George Washington University.   Discover the world in a fragment: Students present research on frag...

We are so proud of our dearly departed alumna, Margaret Powell, and her ground-breaking thesis on the designer Ann Lowe,...
03/30/2021
Ann Lowe’s Barrier-Breaking Mid-Century Couture

We are so proud of our dearly departed alumna, Margaret Powell, and her ground-breaking thesis on the designer Ann Lowe, featured in this recent New Yorker article.

How a Black designer made her way among the white élite.

Kudos to DADH Faculty Elizabeth Lay for her efforts to support this exceptional symposium! Here's the link: https://nscd...
03/30/2021

Kudos to DADH Faculty Elizabeth Lay for her efforts to support this exceptional symposium! Here's the link: https://nscda.org/wips2021/

Don't miss our opening celebration piece of the Women in Preservation Symposium, "HerStory in Preservation."

Sit down with Dr. Michelle Anne Delaney, assistant director for history and culture Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian; Ms. Anna Duff, NSCDA honorary president; Dr. Lydia Brandt, celebrated American history scholar from University of South Carolina; Ms. Amy Williams, chief of museum operations at the Andrew Jackson's Hermitage; and Ms. Elizabeth Kostelny, CEO of Preservation Virginia. Learn about the critical role women played in the ever-evolving history of our country and get a taste of things to come during our three-day virtual symposium!

Register online! https://nscda.org/wips2021/

We are getting excited for graduation in a few weeks and our featured DADH students in the 10th annual NEXT exhibition a...
03/30/2021
2021 NEXT Exhibition - Coming soon!

We are getting excited for graduation in a few weeks and our featured DADH students in the 10th annual NEXT exhibition and celebration of the arts and design! https://next.corcoran.gwu.edu/

2021 NEXT Exhibition Coming Soon! The NEXT exhibition is the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design's annual celebration of the brilliance and promise of its students.

Isaiah Lukens was a renowned mechanic of his age. Having apprenticed to his father Seneca Lukens, he set out from Horsha...
02/22/2021

Isaiah Lukens was a renowned mechanic of his age. Having apprenticed to his father Seneca Lukens, he set out from Horsham in 1811 to establish himself as clockmaker and watchmaker in Philadelphia, where he developed a greater understanding of the mechanical arts. While Lukens excelled in the art of clockmaking, he also demonstrated his skills in constructing the tower clock in the Pennsylvania State House (1828); chronometers and air rifles; a machine disproving Charles Redheffer’s idea of perpetual motion; and other mechanical instruments. These creations catapulted him to fame in Philadelphia’s respected literary and scientific organizations, namely the American Philosophical Society and the Franklin Institute.

The presentation, Like Clockwork: The Philadelphia Clocks and Creations of Isaiah Lukens (1779-1846), explores the life and legacy of Isaiah Lukens in early nineteenth-century Philadelphia. It highlights some of Lukens’ clocks and inventions—particularly his 14-foot clock in the Athenaeum of Philadelphia—while examining his connections with other local inventors and intellectuals like Charles Willson Peale. Through the diverse products of his trade, Isaiah Lukens distinguished himself from other Philadelphians as a scientific mechanic, whose contributions greatly impacted the city’s technological progress.

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/like-clockwork-the-philadelphia-clocks-and-creations-of-isaiah-lukens-tickets-135535164325

About Elizabeth Fox:
Elizabeth Fox is the curatorial assistant for American art at the Worcester Art Museum. Currently, her projects involve the reinstallation of WAM’s American galleries, which will explore the cost of luxury in early American visual and material culture. She received her M.A. in Decorative Arts & Design History from the Smithsonian and George Washington University (2018), and her B.A. in History and Religion from Furman University (2016). She also participated in the Decorative Arts Trust’s Fall 2019 Symposium and Colonial Williamsburg’s 70th Annual Antiques Forum as scholarship recipient. During her academic career, Elizabeth acquired positions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library, and the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms. Her most recent publication, “ ‘A Fine Craftsman in the Best Tradition’: The Clock-making Trade of Isaiah Lukens,” is the basis of her presentation.

Isaiah Lukens was a renowned mechanic of his age. Having apprenticed to his father Seneca Lukens, he set out from Horsham in 1811 to establish himself as clockmaker and watchmaker in Philadelphia, where he developed a greater understanding of the mechanical arts. While Lukens excelled in the art of clockmaking, he also demonstrated his skills in constructing the tower clock in the Pennsylvania State House (1828); chronometers and air rifles; a machine disproving Charles Redheffer’s idea of perpetual motion; and other mechanical instruments. These creations catapulted him to fame in Philadelphia’s respected literary and scientific organizations, namely the American Philosophical Society and the Franklin Institute.

The presentation, Like Clockwork: The Philadelphia Clocks and Creations of Isaiah Lukens (1779-1846), explores the life and legacy of Isaiah Lukens in early nineteenth-century Philadelphia. It highlights some of Lukens’ clocks and inventions—particularly his 14-foot clock in the Athenaeum of Philadelphia—while examining his connections with other local inventors and intellectuals like Charles Willson Peale. Through the diverse products of his trade, Isaiah Lukens distinguished himself from other Philadelphians as a scientific mechanic, whose contributions greatly impacted the city’s technological progress.

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/like-clockwork-the-philadelphia-clocks-and-creations-of-isaiah-lukens-tickets-135535164325

About Elizabeth Fox:
Elizabeth Fox is the curatorial assistant for American art at the Worcester Art Museum. Currently, her projects involve the reinstallation of WAM’s American galleries, which will explore the cost of luxury in early American visual and material culture. She received her M.A. in Decorative Arts & Design History from the Smithsonian and George Washington University (2018), and her B.A. in History and Religion from Furman University (2016). She also participated in the Decorative Arts Trust’s Fall 2019 Symposium and Colonial Williamsburg’s 70th Annual Antiques Forum as scholarship recipient. During her academic career, Elizabeth acquired positions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library, and the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms. Her most recent publication, “ ‘A Fine Craftsman in the Best Tradition’: The Clock-making Trade of Isaiah Lukens,” is the basis of her presentation.

Join editor Janet Marstine for a discussion of the 2020 book Curating Under Pressure. This is the first book to examine ...
02/15/2021

Join editor Janet Marstine for a discussion of the 2020 book Curating Under Pressure. This is the first book to examine the pressures to self-censor and the curatorial responses to these pressures from a wide range of international perspectives. Curating Under Pressure breaks the silence surrounding curatorial self-censorship and shows that it is both endemic to the practice and ubiquitous. Contributors map the diverse forms that such self-censorship take and offer creative strategies for negotiating curatorial integrity.

TO PARTICIPATE: Register here: https://secure2.convio.net/gwu/site/Calendar?id=117641&view=Detail. You will receive an email with a link and instructions for joining the program on Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (Wednesday, February 17th, 6 p.m. EST).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Based in Maine, Janet Marstine is honorary associate professor of Museum Studies (retired) at University of Leicester. She writes and consults on diverse aspects of museum ethics, supporting the agency of practitioners to make informed ethical decisions. She sat on the Ethics Committee of the UK’s Museums Association from 2014 to 2019, helping move their approach from one of policing to empowering. She is author of Critical Practice: Artists, Museums, Ethics (2017), editor of The Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics (2011) and co-editor of Curating Under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity (2020), among other publications.

About the Museums Today Series:
Each month during the academic year, museum leaders lead lively online discussions about critical issues in the field. This series is presented in partnership with the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries.

Join editor Janet Marstine for a discussion of the 2020 book Curating Under Pressure. This is the first book to examine the pressures to self-censor and the curatorial responses to these pressures from a wide range of international perspectives. Curating Under Pressure breaks the silence surrounding curatorial self-censorship and shows that it is both endemic to the practice and ubiquitous. Contributors map the diverse forms that such self-censorship take and offer creative strategies for negotiating curatorial integrity.

TO PARTICIPATE: Register here: https://secure2.convio.net/gwu/site/Calendar?id=117641&view=Detail. You will receive an email with a link and instructions for joining the program on Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (Wednesday, February 17th, 6 p.m. EST).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Based in Maine, Janet Marstine is honorary associate professor of Museum Studies (retired) at University of Leicester. She writes and consults on diverse aspects of museum ethics, supporting the agency of practitioners to make informed ethical decisions. She sat on the Ethics Committee of the UK’s Museums Association from 2014 to 2019, helping move their approach from one of policing to empowering. She is author of Critical Practice: Artists, Museums, Ethics (2017), editor of The Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics (2011) and co-editor of Curating Under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity (2020), among other publications.

About the Museums Today Series:
Each month during the academic year, museum leaders lead lively online discussions about critical issues in the field. This series is presented in partnership with the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries.

In 2017, the United States was demoted to a "flawed democracy" by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Today, the U.S. is mo...
01/25/2021

In 2017, the United States was demoted to a "flawed democracy" by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Today, the U.S. is more strained than it has been in more than a century—thanks to a global pandemic, increasingly toxic politics, a national reckoning with racial injustice, and loss of faith in American institutions. Museums, one of the few remaining trusted institutions, have a critical role to play in rebuilding our country. How can museums help build civic knowledge, mindsets, and skillsets that help our audiences become engaged and informed citizens? How can we support them in taking meaningful civic action?

This talk will explore examples of museum work focused on citizen-building. Participants will leave with a toolkit that they can use to "produce a public benefit" in their own communities.

TO PARTICIPATE, register here: https://museum.gwu.edu/museums-today-civic-mission-museums! You will receive an email with a link and instructions for joining the program on Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (Wednesday, January 27th, 6 p.m. EST).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anthony (Tony) Pennay is the author of The Civic Mission of Museums (2020). A former middle school teacher, Pennay shifted to museum education in 2010, broadly focusing on cultivating the next generation of citizen-leaders. Each year he works with his team to serve more than 70,000 students through a range of programs, field trips, scholarships, competitions, and more. Previously, he has served as chair of the American Alliance of Museum’s EdCom Professional Network and on the California K-12 Civic Learning Task Force. He was also awarded the Civic Action Award by the California Council for the Social Studies.

In 2017, the United States was demoted to a "flawed democracy" by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Today, the U.S. is more strained than it has been in more than a century—thanks to a global pandemic, increasingly toxic politics, a national reckoning with racial injustice, and loss of faith in American institutions. Museums, one of the few remaining trusted institutions, have a critical role to play in rebuilding our country. How can museums help build civic knowledge, mindsets, and skillsets that help our audiences become engaged and informed citizens? How can we support them in taking meaningful civic action?

This talk will explore examples of museum work focused on citizen-building. Participants will leave with a toolkit that they can use to "produce a public benefit" in their own communities.

TO PARTICIPATE, register here: https://museum.gwu.edu/museums-today-civic-mission-museums! You will receive an email with a link and instructions for joining the program on Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (Wednesday, January 27th, 6 p.m. EST).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anthony (Tony) Pennay is the author of The Civic Mission of Museums (2020). A former middle school teacher, Pennay shifted to museum education in 2010, broadly focusing on cultivating the next generation of citizen-leaders. Each year he works with his team to serve more than 70,000 students through a range of programs, field trips, scholarships, competitions, and more. Previously, he has served as chair of the American Alliance of Museum’s EdCom Professional Network and on the California K-12 Civic Learning Task Force. He was also awarded the Civic Action Award by the California Council for the Social Studies.

On Friday, December 11, 2020, alumnus and history buff, Stephen Wyman, ESIA BA '85, joined the GW University Archivist, ...
12/29/2020

On Friday, December 11, 2020, alumnus and history buff, Stephen Wyman, ESIA BA '85, joined the GW University Archivist, Brigette Kamsler, for a discussion about the history and connections between the George Washington University (originally Columbian College) and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, now the GW Corcoran School of the Arts & Design. Watch the video to learn more about William Wilson Corcoran, the founder of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and his involvement as President of the Columbian College Board of Trustees, his partnership with GW President James Clarke Welling, and the relationships which helped propel GW towards becoming a national university. Brigette Kamsler also provided information about the University Archives and historical materials recently acquired from the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

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Hello GW Corcoran Smithsonian MA Program students! I am an alumnae of the HDA program and a licensed Virginia real estate agent. I have a client who is renting a safe and quiet one-bedroom apartment in Fairfax Station, less than 5 miles and about 10 minutes from the GM campus. If you are interested, or know someone who is, please message me for the details. Thanks!
Students and recent graduates: The Met is seeking applicants for the 2019-2020 Tiffany & Co. Foundation Curatorial Internship in American Decorative Arts. This is a 12-month, paid position, open to those who will hold an M.A. by the start of the program (June 3, 2019). The application deadline is January 27, 2019. For more information and to apply, please visit:
https://www.christies.com/ Dec Arts heaven in this upcoming auction!!
Hey all, we're hiring a Museum Technician. The position is functionally entry-level and is perfect for someone who recently or is about to graduate. It's a permanent, full-time position with benefits.