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New York, NY, USA

Program Description

New York City is a leading global arts capital. It is home to some of the world's most innovative public art, design, and building, and the City inspires contemporary artists and architects from around the world. 

The City is our classroom.  Participants are introduced to NYC's most important arts institutions throughout our 7-day visit. We will view public and corporate art collections, speak to practicing artists about the NYC arts industry, visit galleries and auction houses, and study public art and architecture throughout Manhattan and its boroughs. We will meet and engage with curators, designers, gallery representatives, artists, and architectural historians who offer their invaluable insight into the NYC arts world through their professional expertise and personal experiences. Among these are a number of JMU alums who are now successful professionals in leading NYC arts institutions.  

JMU faculty member Sarah Brooks will lead the program. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Sarah earned her Ph.D. at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts. Her professional experience includes 5 years of curatorial work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At JMU she has taught courses including the "Art History Exhibition Seminar" and "Art History Careers and Institutions," and she organized the 2014 Duke Gallery show of contemporary Arab photographer Lalla Essaydi, "Critiquing and Contextualizing Orientalism." Co-teaching the program with Sarah will be Dr. Kris Juncker, a specialist in Contemporary art including the art and photography of Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Kris most recently spoke at the Duke Gallery on the 2016 Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons exhibition, for which she wrote the catalogue essay. Kris, like Sarah, is also fluent in the art and monuments of NYC where she completed her Ph.D. at Columbia University and worked for over a decade. Kris' past professional experience include curatorial and museum education work for the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is presently a Consultant to the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art.  

Additional planned guest speakers in NYC include: Jamie Powell, MFA, founder and director of Arts Reservoir; Moira Gallagher, MA, JMU Class of 2009, Curatorial Assistant, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Isolde Brielmaier, Ph.D., Curator, World Trade Center Art Collection; Sam Omans, MA, ABD, Architectural Historian and Fulbright Scholar; Rocio Aranda Alvarez, Ph.D., Curator, El Museo del Barrio; and Matthew Cross, MA, JMU Class of 2012, Gallery Representative, Gagosian Gallery.

Location Description

Manhattan will be our home base. From here we will make short trips to the borough of Queens and by ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Over six days we will visit:
NYC’s annual Armory Show; the Gagosian Gallery; the Met Breuer; MOMA PS1; the Cooper Hewitt-Smithsonian Design Museum; the World Trade Center Art Collection (first opening in Fall 2016); the Landscape Architecture and Design of Frank Law Olmstead’s Central Park; the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Museum, including the site installation of contemporary artist JR’s exhibition, "Unframed–Ellis Island"; The High Line and Its Architecture, including Zaha Hadid's 520 West 28th Street, Frank Gehry’s IAC Headquarters, and Jean Nouvel’s 100 11th Avenue; El Museo del Barrio; The Studio Museum in Harlem; and Reservoir Art Space, Queens.


Sarah Brooks | | School of Art, Design and Art History


During the program students will stay in shared, fully-furnished rooms in a university-sponsored hotel, with numerous restaurant and cafe options nearby as well as affordable takeaway venues and grocery stores.

Public transportation will be easily and conveniently available. Students will be provided with a 7-day NYC Metrocard for unlimited use of buses and subways.

Two group dinners are hosted on the opening Saturday evening of the program, and the final Friday. All other meals are the responsibility of the student.

New York City is not only the Global Arts Capital, it is one of the great Food Capitals of the world. There are no limits to a student's opportunities to try new cuisines from all over the world, as well as the foods that New York City has long been famous for, including its authentic boiled bagels, pizza, and New York cheesecake. Farmer's markets, green grocers, and specialty shops are steps away from the program's base as well.

Additional Items to Consider

In preparation for Spring break 2019, three logistical and academic meetings will be held on campus in January and February 2019.

*Students enrolled at JMU full-time Spring 2019 will pay no additional tuition to participate in a spring break program. The program fee will be the total required cost.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Open to all majors

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in.

Program Closed.

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Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


ARTH 409: Exhibition Seminar - Global Perspectives (3 credits)

ARTH 590: Graduate Topics in Art History - NYC: Contemporary Art - Global Perspectives (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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