Why Architecture Belongs in the Museum: Barry Bergdoll


Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 5:00pm to 6:00pm

This event is virtual. To view the recording, click here

Speaker: Barry Bergdoll, Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
Moderated by: Patricio del Real, Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University

Why Architecture Belongs in the Museum | Activism: Future and Historical. This conversation series is part of Curating Architecture Across the Americas (CAAA), an initiative that brings together institutions, curators, and scholars to discuss the role of architecture exhibitions and collections in the expanding world of curatorial practices and cultural debates. The series is run in parallel with the course Architecture in the “museum” a transnational seminar ran simultaneously by three institutions: Harvard University, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, each led by local faculty members.

Barry Bergdoll is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University and the former Chief Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007-14). A specialist in the history of modern architecture, he curated numerous exhibitions at MoMA, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Musée d’Orsay, and other venues, including Mies In Berlin (2001), Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity (2009-2010), Rising Currents : Projects for New York’s Waterfront (2010), Latin America in Construction : Architecture 1955-1980 (2015) and Frank Lloyd Wright at 150 : Unpacking the Archive (2017). He is the author most recently of Marcel Breuer: Building Global Institutions (2017 ; with Jonathan Massey), and many other publications including European Architecture 1750-1890 (2000). A former President of the Society of Architectural Historians, Bergdoll is the President of the Board of the Center for Architecture, New York.

Patricio del Real works on modern architecture and its transnational connections with a focus on the Americas. His forthcoming book: Inventing Latin American Architecture: Culture, Politics, and Race at the Museum of Modern Art, examines multiple architecture exhibitions and MoMA as a cultural weapon. It looks at its Department of Architecture and Design as its curators navigated the treacherous politics of Pan Americanism and the cultural conflicts of the second postwar era to secure its survival. Del Real co-edited the anthology, Latin American Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories (Routledge, 2012); was Visiting Associate Research Scholar in the Program of Latin American Studies at Princeton University, and worked in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art on several exhibitions, co-curating "Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980," which received the 2017 Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award, recognizing excellence of architectural history scholarship in exhibition catalogues. Del Real holds a PhD in Architecture History and Theory from Columbia University and a Master of Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Presented in collaboration with Harvard Department of History of Art and Architecture