At Home in the Museum?
The challenges and potentials of architecture in the gallery.
11 September 2014
Harold White Theatre, Level 2, 757 Swanston Street,
The University of Melbourne
Professor Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Architectural History at Columbia University, will outline how the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has attempted to address the traversing of an unexpected set of economic, social and environmental challenges in which the centrality of design professions has become manifestly clear, even as larger forces – in which designers are too often complicit – act to marginalize the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, design and the arts. Having worked side-by-side with professionals, Professor Bergdoll is more than ever convinced that a cooperative, multidisciplinary approach is fundamental to the future vitality of the field – and essential if designers are to contribute to solving the enormous problems of our day. He will show how MoMA has been trying to discover meaningful positions and prospects even as practitioners have been jolted into discussion about just where the moral compass should be set.
Barry Bergdoll is a curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, where from 2007 to 2013 he served as The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design. At MoMA, he has organized, curated, and consulted on several major exhibitions of 19th and 20th-century architecture, including “Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal” (2014); “Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes,” with Jean-Louis Cohen (2013); “Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light” (2013) with Corinne Bélier and Marc LeCoeur (first shown in Paris at the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, 2012); “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream” with Reinhold Martin (2012); “Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront” (2010); “Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity,” with Leah Dickerman (2009-10); “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling” (2008); and “Lost Vanguard: Soviet Modernist Architecture, 1922–32” (2007), as well as numerous presentations of selections from MoMA’s permanent collections of architecture and design, which were substantially expanded under his tenure. Previous to his appointment at MoMA, his exhibitions included “Breuer in Minnesota” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2002); “Mies in Berlin” at MoMA (2001), with Terence Riley; “Les Vaudoyer: Une Dynastie d’Architectes at the Musée D’Orsay, Paris (1991); and “Ste. Geneviève/ Panthéon: Symbol of Revolutions,” in Paris and at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (1989).
He is author or editor of numerous publications, including Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light (with Corinne Bélier and Marc Le Coeur, 2012); Bauhaus 1919-1933: Workshops for Modernity (winner of the 2010 Award for Outstanding Exhibition Catalogue, Association of Art Museum Curators); Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling (winner of the 2010 Philip Johnson Book Award, Society of Architectural Historians); Mies in Berlin (winner of the 2002 Philip Johnson Book Award and AICA Best Exhibition Award, 2002); Karl Friedrich Schinkel: An Architecture for Prussia (winner of the 1995 AIA Book Award); Léon Vaudoyer: Historicism in the Age of Industry (1994); and European Architecture 1750-1890, in the Oxford History of Art series (2001).
He served as Chairman of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University from 2004 to 2007, President of the Society of Architectural Historians from 2006 to 2008, Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University in winter 2011, and in 2013 delivered the 62nd A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.