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Norton Batkin, the founding director of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College’s influential program that has fostered multiple generations of curators, died earlier this week, theInstitution announced on Friday.
Batkin has been appointed as the new leader CCS BardHe held this position until 2008. He was also dean of graduate study from 2005 to 2021 and vice president since 2009.
During the entire time he spent at Bard College, a small liberal-arts college in upstate New York he was a philosophy and art historian professor.
“Norton always put the students and the value of a solid education above all else, believing always in the value of their scholarship,” Tom Eccles, the current leader of CCS Bard, wrote in a statement on Instagram.
Bard College President Leon Botstein, meanwhile, wrote, “Norton established CCS’s reputation for exacting intellectual standards and innovation in its Master’s Degree curriculum and in its exhibitions. He recruited a mixture of outstanding teachers and practitioners, and formed an international network of artist. Norton initiated the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence, which is awarded annually to leading curators from around the globe.”
Botstein continued, “Norton will long be remembered as will his devotion to Bard. I cannot imagine a friend or colleague who is both kinder and gentler, and has a razor-sharp intelligence and a stunning irony and sense of humor. Norton was a wise and noble soul.”
Cecilia Alemani was a notable alumni of CCS. She served as the Artistic director of the Venice Biennale 2022Candice Hopkins, the curator of the recent ‘Candice Hopkins’ exhibition acclaimed “Indian Theater” exhibition at CCS Bard’s Hessel Museum of Art; and Ruba Katrib, who has served as curator and director of curatorial affairs at MoMA PS1 since 2021.
A memorial service to Batkin will take place in March.