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Press Release

February 8, 2013

Barry Bergdoll to Present Out of Site in Plain View: A History of Exhibiting Architecture since 1750 for the 62nd A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington


Barry Bergdoll, 62nd A. W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, spring 2013. Photo by Robin Holland © 2008 The Museum of Modern Art.

Washington, DC—Barry Bergdoll, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and professor of modern architectural history at Columbia University, New York, will present the 62nd A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts series, entitled Out of Site in Plain View: A History of Exhibiting Architecture since 1750, this spring at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

The series will include the following lectures:

Framed and Hung: Architecture in Public from the Salon to the French Revolution
April 7

In and Out of Time: Curating Architecture's History
April 14

Not at Home: Architecture on Display from World's Fairs to Williamsburg
April 21

Better Futures: Exhibitions between Reform and Avant-Garde
April 28

Conflicting Visions: Commerce, Diplomacy, and Persuasion
May 5

Architecture and the Rise of the Event Economy
May 12

All lectures take place Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. in the East Building Auditorium. The programs are free and open to the public, and seating is first come, first seated.

Architecture is at once the most public of arts and the hardest to bring into the spaces of the gallery or the museum. Yet since the mid-18th century, diverse techniques of architectural display have been developed. Far from being poor substitutes for the real experience of architecture as a spatial art in situ, these techniques have been integral to architecture's stake in the evolving discourses of modernity. By the mid-19th century they had reinforced and helped craft some of the discipline's greatest ambitions: a space for public debate, an autonomous history of architecture, and the capacity to express—and even craft—national and colonial identities. By the 20th century the culture of architectural display had become a strategy not only of emerging avant-gardes but also of international cultural and economic politics, of commerce, and of globalization. The sequence of the six Mellon Lectures evolves through time, even as each introduces a new capacity for architecture itself, made possible through the culture of architectural exhibition.

The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

The A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts were established in 1949 to bring to the people of the United States the results of the best contemporary thought and scholarship bearing upon the subject of the fine arts. The program is named for Andrew W. Mellon, the founder of the National Gallery of Art, who gave the nation his art collection and funds to build the West Building, which opened to the public in 1941.

Barry Bergdoll

Barry Bergdoll is the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art and professor of modern architectural history at Columbia University. He holds a BA and a PhD from Columbia and an MA from King's College, Cambridge. His interests center on modern architectural history with an emphasis on France and Germany since 1800.

Bergdoll has organized many major exhibitions on 19th- and 20th-century architecture. The most recent of these, Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light, an exhibition he co-organized with the Cité de l'Architecture and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, is on view this spring at MoMA (March 10–June 24, 2013). His earlier exhibitions at MoMA include Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, with Reinhold Martin (2012); 194X–9/11: American Architects and the City (2011–2012); Rising Currents: Projects for New York's Waterfront (2010); Bauhaus 19191933: Workshops for Modernity, with Leah Dickerman (2009–2010); Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling (2008); Lost Vanguard: Soviet Modernist Architecture, 1922–32 (2007); and Mies in Berlin, with Terence Riley (2001). He was also guest curator for Les Vaudoyer: Une Dynastie d'architectes (Musée d'Orsay, Paris, 1991) and Ste. Geneviève / Panthéon: Symbol of Revolutions (in Paris and at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 1989).

For several of these Bergdoll edited or coedited prizewinning catalogues: Bauhaus 19191933: Workshops for Modernity (Outstanding Exhibition Catalogue, Association of Art Museum Curators, 2010); Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling (Philip Johnson Book Award, Society of Architectural Historians, 2010); and Mies in Berlin (Philip Johnson Book Award, SAH, and Best Exhibition Award, International Association of Art Critics, 2002). His other scholarly publications include Karl Friedrich Schinkel: An Architecture for Prussia (1994; winner of the American Institute of Architects Book Award, 1995); Lẻon Vaudoyer: Historicism in the Age of Industry (1994); and European Architecture 17501890 (2000), in the Oxford History of Art series. An edited volume, Fragments: Architecture and the Unfinished, was published in 2006. He served as chairman of the art history and archaeology department at Columbia from 2004 to 2007 and president of the SAH from 2006 to 2008. He was Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Cambridge in 2011. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

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