The Proseminar equips students with the skills required for scholarship in the history of decorative arts. In-class discussions introduce a range of methodologies and critical approaches. Exercises train students in essential tasks such as conducting formal analyses, writing catalogue entries, and making visual presentations. This writing-intensive course stresses the mechanics of expository writing through projects that require students to conduct and integrate primary and secondary source research. Each student selects one work from the Cooper-Hewitt collection to study throughout the semester. Grades will be calculated as follows: attendance/preparation/class participation (20%); Two short papers (10% each, 20% total); In-class presentation (20%); Final paper (20-25 pages) (40%). Preliminary drafts of papers, proposals, and bibliographies will also be submitted throughout the semester. These will be corrected but not graded.