Professor Barry Bergdoll, the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and former chief curator of Architecture and Design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), will deliver the next Utzon lecture* at UNSW on September 17.

Professor Bergdoll built a superlative reputation as a creator not just of compelling and innovative exhibitions about architectural history and its great names, but also as an agitator for better architecture and urban design in future. He believes art museums can be much more than storehouses for masterpieces of the past and showcases for contemporary art; they can be powerful catalysts for real-world change.

When Professor Bergdoll stepped away from his full-time MoMA role (he continues to work with the museum on a part-time basis), New York Magazine art critic Justin Davidson wrote that Bergdoll “helped museum visitors understand not only what architecture is but also what it could be”. 

In his Utzon lecture, at UNSW’s Faculty of Built Environment, Professor Bergdoll will focus on the key role MoMA has played in housing reform and social planning in the United States; how the museum has raised awareness of the effects of climate change on urban environments, and its plans for future exhibitions and workshops that will examine the consequences of large-scale income disparity in rapidly expanding cities. 

What: Utzon Lecture: “Architecture in the Museum: The Art of Advocacy” 

When: Wednesday 17 September, 6.30-7.30pm

Where: Keith Burrows Lecture Theatre, UNSW Kensington campus

Cost: Free; but registration is essential.

Media contact: Lissa Christopher, UNSW Media, 9385 8920 or  0419 140 783

* UNSW Faculty of Built Environment's flagship public lecture series is named after renowned Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who was the mastermind of the Sydney Opera House. The lecture series focuses on the presentation of ideas from leading contributors of international significant in the design, delivery and management of the built environment.