School of Visual Arts Will Offer Curatorial Graduate Program



New York’s School of Visual Arts (SVA) will soon offer a two-year master’s degree in curatorial practice. The new program will start accepting applications in September for the first class, which will graduate in 2016.

Curator, critic and author Steven Henry Madoff, who has taught in the school’s MFA art practice department since 2011, will chair the program.

“There are significant, very serious curatorial graduate programs like at Bard College [in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.], and Goldsmith’s in London, and the Städelschule in Frankfurt,” Madoff said, speaking to A.i.A. today by phone. “What I want to do here at SVA is something that has very much to do with the DNA of the school. SVA has traditionally used the many experts here in New York to train students—it’s a trade school in the best sense of the term.

“There is probably no greater center than this in the world for experts in this field,” Madoff said, “and not only in visual arts but also design and film and new media, fields in which the school has great strengths.”

Among the instructors will be Matthew Higgs, director of New York’s White Columns; independent curator Hou Hanru; Claire Gilman, curator at New York’s Drawing Center; and Charles Renfro, a partner at the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

An advisory council includes museum directors such as Thelma Golden (Studio Museum in Harlem), Suzanne Landau (Tel Aviv Museum of Art) and Olga Viso (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis) as well as critics, artists and dealers.

Madoff has served in various positions in the art world, including executive editor at ARTnews; he has written criticism and journalism for Art in America, the New York Times, Artforum and other publications. He has authored monographic essays on numerous artists, including Rebecca Horn, Kimsooja and Ann Hamilton, in addition to books such as Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century), published by MIT Press in 2009, and Pop Art: A Critical History (University of California Press, 1997).

SVA currently offers 32 undergraduate and graduate degrees in various fields of artistic practice, theory and criticism. Over 6,000 students study at its Manhattan campus.