Approved by the State of New York in October 2015, the Advanced Certificate in Curatorial Studies is intended to formalize and recognize the high level of curatorial training already being provided to graduate students (both MA and MFA) in Hunter’s Department of Art & Art History, and to intensify and amplify that training through the rigor of an official curriculum.  The certificate recognizes the curatorial interests and ambitions of Hunter students and the Hunter College Art Galleries’ longstanding commitment to exhibitions whose themes, theses, and checklists have been developed and honed by our students.  The Curatorial Seminar is a Hunter tradition that goes back over two decades.  In just the past few years, faculty-initiated, seminar-based exhibitions have included:

  • Critical Gestures/Contested Spaces: French Art and Politics in the 1960s (2016)
  • Boundless Reality: Traveler Artists’ Landscapes of Latin America from The Patricia Phelps De Cisneros Collection (2015)
  • Open Work in Latin America, New York & Beyond: Conceptualism Reconsidered 1967-1978 (2013)
  • Open Work in Latin America, New York & Beyond: Conceptualism Reconsidered 1967-1978 (2013)
  • Peripheral Visions: Italian Photography in Context, 1950s-Present (2012)
  • Notations: The Cage Effect (2012)
  • Objects of Devotion and Desire: Medieval Relic to Contemporary Art (2011).

The certificate program, open by application to students in either the MA or the MFA at Hunter, or to students with a completed MA in Art History from Hunter or another recognized institution, is a sequence of four courses designed specifically to offer both a theoretical and historical grounding in curatorial practices and practical experience in exhibition organization and display and object research and preservation.  Every student enrolled in the certificate program will have the opportunity to work on an exhibition from inception to fruition, whether in the annual Curatorial Seminar or in faculty-supervised guided internships at the Artist’s Institute, or at cultural institutions beyond the College.  Members of Hunter’s faculty are actively engaged as curators for special projects outside our galleries in a number of museums locally and internationally and we have a network of curators from those museums who have taught at Hunter or have expressed interest in working with our students.

The new Curatorial Certificate is a 12-credit program, but for students currently enrolled in the Hunter MA or MFA programs, 6 of those 12 credits can be applied both toward the certificate and toward credit requirements within the existing 30 credit MA degree in Art History or the existing 48 credit MFA.   Six are in addition to those credit limits in both programs.


Hunter College Professor Harper Montgomery and MA and MFA students meeting with the artist David Lamelas in the exhibition Life as Activity: David Lamelas, Hunter College Art Galleries’ Leubsdorf Gallery Nov. 2021.