By endowing this program, Marica and Jan Vilcek have ensured in perpetuity the Institute’s position as the premier school in the training of curators for the global arts community.

The Vilceks
Photo Credit: Marica and Jan Vilcek

Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Program, made possible by the vision and generosity of Marica Vilcek, chair of the Institute of Fine Arts Board of Trustees, and her husband, the renowned scientist Jan Vilcek.

The Institute’s Curatorial Studies Program has been an integral part of the school’s curriculum since the 1950s. With the Vilcek’s gift, the Institute will launch a newly designed program to give MA and PhD students greater opportunities for museum-based courses taught by prominent curators at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, The Frick Collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, along with several other museums. The program will prepare students for curatorial careers by giving them a range of experiences. By endowing this program, Marica and Jan Vilcek have ensured in perpetuity the Institute’s position as the premier school in the training of curators for the global arts community.

The Vilcek Curatorial Program will have several interlocking components and be available as a concentration in Curatorial Practice and Museum History for both MA and PhD students. An introductory curatorial seminar will be offered by Institute faculty. This course presents students with current issues in curatorial work and includes visits by curators, conservators, educators, designers, communications specialists, and other museum professionals. The second component comprises a series of curator-taught seminars, three per year in a variety of fields. Drawing upon the Institute’s strong relationships with a range of premier institutions and its distinguished alumni, we will invite curators to teach these seminars. The program will also feature a year-long curatorial fellowship for PhD students in one of the Institute’s collaborating museums.

Each year, two advanced PhD students will be awarded Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Fellowships, offering them the opportunity to work under the direction of leading curators in their fields. The final component consists of a series of workshops open to the general public on topics of interest in museum history and curatorial practice. These discussions will provide further occasions to stimulate new thinking and to hear from a range of curators and directors from large and small organizations with a variety of specializations on issues of importance in today’s art world.

“We are honored to endow this program so that the Institute may continue to offer rigorous training in curatorial studies and sustain its success in placing alumni into leadership positions at the world’s foremost art institutions,” said Marica and Jan Vilcek.

Christine Poggi, the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, commented, “With this generous support from Vilceks, we will be able to offer PhD and MA students the historical knowledge, curatorial experience, and opportunities for creative thinking they will need to influence the next generation’s engagement with the arts.” 

The Marica and Jan Vilcek Curatorial Program will allow the Institute to offer strong and comprehensive training to its students interested in curatorial careers. It will prepare them for key roles in museums and arts professions nationally and internationally, helping to ensure the ongoing vitality of the arts. 


About the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU 
Founded in 1932, the Institute of Fine Arts is a center of graduate training and research in art history, archaeology, and conservation. The Institute has a faculty unrivaled in the breadth and depth of its expertise and in the range of its adjunct lecturers from top museums, research institutes, and conservation studios. The Institute has conferred more than 2,700 degrees, and its alumni hold leadership roles as professors, curators, museum directors, archaeologists, conservators, critics, and institutional administrators throughout the U.S. and internationally.