SVA President David Rhodes recently announced the creation of a new MA in Curatorial Practice, a two-year degree focused on professional training grounded in hands-on work with experts in curation, art history and theory. The new department is chaired by internationally-renowned curator, critic and author Steven Henry Madoff, who has taught in the MFA Art Practice Department at SVA since 2011. SVA will begin accepting applications for the program in September.
“As someone who has had an impact on how art is seen and understood around the world, Steven is uniquely well-suited to lead New York City’s first graduate program for curatorial professionals,” said President Rhodes. “I have no doubt the city, and SVA, will offer a fertile environment for this important work.”
The new department will emphasize studies with professionals from New York’s vast resource of world-class arts institutions. In addition, it will serve as a hub for curators and other arts experts in New York and from around the world, creating new strategic partnerships that will give students access to international curation opportunities. The MA in Curatorial Practice will address a variety of platforms, considering art and design as components within a larger interdisciplinary field.
“The exponential growth of the global arts enterprise—museums, galleries, alternative spaces, biennials, art fairs, expositions, online art sites and the sheer number of publicly and privately supported art venues—has greatly increased the need for curatorial knowledge and production,” Madoff said. “The Master’s in Curatorial Practice at SVA will take full advantage of the opportunities for study, mentorship and professional development right on our doorstep in New York City, and will offer international colleagues a connection point as well.”
Among those slated to teach in the program are Matthew Higgs, director and chief curator, White Columns, New York; Hou Hanru, internationally renowned independent curator; Richard Flood, director of special projects and curator at large, the New Museum, New York; Claire Gilman, curator, the Drawing Center, New York; David A. Ross, former director of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and chair of MFA Art Practice at SVA; David Frankel, editorial director, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Charles Renfro, partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Manon Slome, former curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and president and chief curator, No Longer Empty, New York; Daniel Kunitz, editor in chief, Modern Painters; and Jovana Stokic, former curator of performance, Location One, New York and deputy chair, MA in Curatorial Practice, SVA; among many others.
Steven Henry Madoff has curated internationally and published widely over the last quarter of a century. Formerly president and editorial director of the AltaCultura division of The Museum of Modern Art in New York and senior critic at the Yale University School of Art, he lectures on contemporary art throughout the world. He has served as a curator the Venice Biennale, and most recently he directed “Host & Guest,” a multi-platform program of exhibitions and events at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Madoff has served as executive editor of ARTnews and is a contributing editor at Modern Painters and ARTnews. His criticism and journalism have appeared regularly in such publications as The New York Times, Time, Artforum, Art in America, Art + Auction and Tate Etc. His books include Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century) (MIT Press, 2009), Pop Art: A Critical History (University of California Press, 1997) and Christopher Wilmarth: Light and Gravity (Princeton University Press, 2004), among others. He has published monographic essays on such artists as Marina Abramovic, Rebecca Horn, Kimsooja and Ann Hamilton, among many others.
Madoff is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including those from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of American Poets. He holds his B.A. from Columbia University, where he was the Butler Scholar in the Humanities, and did his graduate work in English and Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University.