MoMA Names Architecture and Design Chief

Today, Columbia University professor Barry Bergdoll was named as MoMA’s chief curator of architecture and design, as reported in the New York Times. He takes over from Terence Riley, who is currently director of the Miami Art Museum. The department was founded by Philip Johnson in 1932.

This morning, the MoMA sent out a release announcing the move. Full release is after the jump.

THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART ANNOUNCES KEY CURATORIAL APPOINTMENT

Barry Bergdoll Appointed Chief Curator, Department of Architecture and Design

New York, June 21, 2006-Glenn Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art, today announced the appointment of Barry Bergdoll as The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design. Mr. Bergdoll is currently Chair of the Department of Art History at Columbia University. He succeeds Terence Riley, who was Chief Curator of the Department from 1992 until his departure last March to become Director of the Miami Art Museum. Mr. Bergdoll will assume his new position on January 1, 2007.

Mr. Lowry said, “The Museum could not be more pleased to welcome Barry Bergdoll, one of the world’s most distinguished architectural scholars, to this important position at the Museum. His depth of knowledge as an architectural historian, teacher, and writer, as well as his wide experience as curator and consultant on key exhibitions at MoMA and elsewhere, make him the ideal choice to lead the Architecture and Design Department in the coming years.”

“I am delighted to join the talented staff at MoMA, where I have been fortunate to be associated in both a curatorial and advisory capacity in the past,” said Mr. Bergdoll. “I also welcome the opportunity to work with the Museum’s outstanding collection and develop exhibitions that extend this department’s distinguished and innovative record in the field.”

Founded in 1932, the Department of Architecture and Design was the first curatorial department of its kind in the world. The architecture collection documents buildings through models, drawings, and photographs, and includes the Mies van der Rohe Archive. The design collection is comprised of more than 3,000 objects ranging from appliances and furniture to textiles and vehicles, including sports cars and a helicopter. The graphic design collection includes over 4,000 examples of typography, posters, and printed matter.

Mr. Bergdoll joined the faculty of the Department of Art History and Archeology at Columbia University in 1985 and was elected Chairman of the Department in 2004. For two decades he has taught nineteenth and twentieth century architectural history at Columbia. He also helped institute the University’s art history programs in Paris, and worked with the Graduate School of Architecture on the establishment of a Ph.D. program in architectural history. As Chairman of the Art History Department, Mr. Bergdoll has initiated new institutional collaborations-notably with the University of Rome-and has undertaken innovative building projects including a new study center for the department’s slide collections.

Mr. Bergdoll has also held numerous guest professorships, notably at Harvard University, MIT, and the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He has been a fellow at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (National Institute of Art History) in Paris and at the American Academy in Berlin.

During his career, Mr. Bergdoll has organized, curated, and consulted on many landmark exhibitions in the field of nineteenth and twentieth century architecture, including Mies in Berlin at MoMA (2001) with Terence Riley; Breuer in Minnesota at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2002); Les Vaudoyer: Une Dynastie d’Architectes at the Musée D’Orsay, Paris (1991); and Ste. Geneviève/Pantheon; Symbol of Revolutions at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (1989).

Among the myriad books that Mr. Bergdoll has written or contributed to are: Mies in Berlin (2001), winner of the Philip Johnson Award of the Society of Architectural Historians in 2002; Karl Friedrich Schinkel: An Architecture for Prussia (1994), winner of the AIA Book Award in 1995; and European Architecture 1750-1890 (2000), in the Oxford History of Art series. Mr. Bergdoll edited, Fragments: Architecture and the Unfinished, which has just been published by Thames and Hudson (London, 2006), and a study of Marcel Breuer’s architecture is to be published by Phaidon Press (London) in 2008.

Mr. Bergdoll has also written on architecture for a variety of publications including Architecture, The Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, The Yale Architecture Journal, Harvard Design Magazine, Casabella, The New York Times, Artforum, House and Garden, Beaux-Arts Magazine (Paris), The Burlington Magazine (London) and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Mr. Bergdoll serves as the President of the Society of Architectural Historians, is a member of the Architecture and Design Committee of The Museum of Modern Art, and is on the editorial board of Architectura (Berlin and Munich). In the past he has served on the Board of Directors of the Architectural League of New York (1986-2004) and as Exhibitions Editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (1996-2000).

Mr. Bergdoll holds a B.A. degree from Columbia College; an M.A. and B.A. with honors from King’s College, Cambridge University (U.K.), and a Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University.