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Master's degree in Curatorial Practice

  • Rigorous curatorial training in the heart of Manhattan with leading curators and experts from New York’s major arts institutions
  • Historical and theoretical study of the expanded curatorial field
  • International network of institutions and organizations for career development

The Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Practice is a two-year program that focuses on professional training with a thorough grounding in the relevant study of history, research and theory, and with an emphasis on hands-on work with experts in the field, professional networking and the foremost goal of placing graduates of the program in curatorial jobs. The program takes full advantage of the vast number of arts institutions and professionals on the doorstep of the School of Visual Arts in Chelsea and throughout New York City, providing countless opportunities for study, mentoring and professional development. Our faculty members all work as curators, directors or other professionals at major New York institutions. Our weekly guest lecturers are curators, artists, conservators, writers, architects, critics and theorists who stream into our space on 21st Street from around the world to talk about their exhibitions, programs, projects and events.

There has never been a moment so potent in the explosive growth of venues for curatorial work across the globe, while the political urgencies we now see around the world are a call to curators everywhere to turn their attention toward the intersection of social and cultural concerns. Our program in Curatorial Practice (MACP) is predicated on the fact that the global enterprise of the art world—including museums, Kunsthallen, commercial and nonprofit galleries, private collections, alternative spaces, biennials, art fairs, online art sites, and a vast number of other publicly and privately supported art platforms—has increased the number of curatorial ventures for programming on local, national and international stages that seek to effect change.

To emphasize the deeply entwined nature of education and professional engagement, MACP considers itself a hub for practitioners in the global field, not an academic cloister. What this means in real terms are exhibitions, performances, panel discussions, workshops and ample time in the city for one-on-one encounters with artists and professionals in the field on a continual basis for our students. They have the opportunity to create, curate and collaborate with leading professionals and institutions from New York, with further opportunities in projects and internships, including research, exhibitions and publications that span the globe. These events and collaborations, along with all of the New York art scene, give the students daily access to professionals who become the basis of their own networks for the future. Nothing can beat the proximity of these encounters in the everyday life of New York’s teeming, international art scene.

The space that MACP occupies, close by the galleries in Chelsea and within reach of museums and other exhibition venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the other boroughs, affirms our programmatic approach, which fluidly mixes practice, research and theory. Our facilities have been designed from the ground up specifically for us by Charles Renfro of the world-renowned architectural practice of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in association with the design firm Leong Leong. Their mission was to create a dynamic space in which discussion, study, professional visits, critical encounters, research and production take place in an immensely flexible, technologically sophisticated, and comfortable work environment. Our beautiful facilities fit within the exceptional network of studios, workshops for every creative practice, libraries, labs and galleries that make up the School of Visual Arts. The faculty and artists of SVA’s other programs offer still more possibilities for collaboration.

No other curatorial program in the world brings more extraordinary resources, more creative enterprises, more curators, artists and experts as faculty and visitors, more opportunities for hands-on work and professional networking than our Master of Arts in Curatorial Practice at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Steven Henry Madoff, chair

MA Curatorial Practice Advisory Council
  • Marina Abramovic, performance artist, New York
  • Defne Ayas, director, Witte de With, Rotterdam
  • Daniel Birnbaum, director, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
  • Thelma Golden, director, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York
  • Madeleine Grynsztejn, director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • Hou Hanru, artistic director, Maxxi, National Museum of 21st Century Art, Rome
  • Udo Kittelmann, director, National Gallery, Berlin
  • Suzannne Landau, former director, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
  • Lars Nittve, former executive director, M+, Hong Kong
  • Lisa Phillips, director, The New Museum, New York
  • Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, director, Osmos, New York
  • Paul Schimmel, independent curator, Los Angeles
  • Olga Viso, executive director, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
  • Sheena Wagstaff, chairman, Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

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