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The Art Institute of Chicago appoints new Curator of Architecture and Design


June 16, 2005
by Canadian Architect

James Cuno, President and Eloise W. Martin Director, The Art Institute of Chicago, has announced that Joseph Rosa has been appointed as the John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design, effective September 15, 2005. Cuno has expanded the collecting responsibilities of the former Department of Architecture to incorporate modern and contemporary design. He also announced that the unfilled position of Neville Bryan Curator in European Decorative Arts will become the Neville Bryan Curator of Design in the newly named department. The appointment of Rosa currently the Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art marks Cuno’s first curatorial appointment since assuming his position at The Art Institute of Chicago in September 2004.

Remarking on the appointment, Cuno said: "Joe Rosa is an intelligent, creative and experienced curator. He is committed to the architectural legacy of Chicago and the role of the Art Institute within it, just as he is committed to collecting, exhibiting and publishing broadly on a modern and contemporary architecture and design. We are thrilled that Joe will be joining us to lead our expanded Department of Architecture and Design. The design worlds of architecture, graphic and industrial/product design have been intimately intertwined since the turn of the 20th century. This is true generally and true of Chicago. The Art Institute is poised for this important development."

Rosa has held the curatorial position of Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art since January 2002. As senior curator and head of that department, he has been responsible not only for the collections and related exhibitions, but also for extending the museum’s activities into the digital realm for active acquisitions, exhibitions, publications, and interpretive programs. The exhibitions for which he has been responsible include Glamour: Fashion, Industrial Design, Architecture; I>The Art of Design: Selections from the Permanent Collection of Architecture and Design (ongoing) and Body Design. He also curated a series of design exhibitions that featured such emerging figures as Yves Bhar and Lindy Roy. His exhibition and book Next Generation Architecture: Folds, Blobs, and Boxes, included the work of Chicago architect Douglas Garofalo.

Rosa served as Curator of Architecture, Heinz Architectural Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from February 2000 to November 2001, where the center saw an expansion of 5,000 square feet of exhibition space. He curated two exhibitions there, Folds, Blobs, and Boxes: Architecture in the Digital Era in 2001; and Inside Out: New Perspectiveson the Heinz Architectural Center’s Collection in 2000.

For four years, he was Chief Curator of the National Building Museum, Washington, DC (July 1995 to December 1999). His exhibitions covered the work of architects ranging from Frank Lloyd Wright to Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Landscaping and hardscaping exhibition topics included El Nuevo Mundo: The Landscape of Latino Los Angeles, and Lying Lightly on the Land: A Century of Road-Building in the National Parks.

From March 1991 to June 1995, Rosa was Director of the Columbia Architecture Galleries, Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, in New York. During that time (1994-95) he also served as the curator of an exhibition in Tokyo called New York, The World’s Premier Public Theater: Creating and Managing Public Space in the Post-Industrial Metropolis. He was a guest curator for a national and international traveling exhibition, Albert Frey, Architect, in 1992.

Rosa has extensive teaching experience as visiting faculty, visiting lecturer, and adjunct professor at such prestigious schools as the Southern California Institute of Architecture; California College of Arts; Catholic University of America; University of California at Berkeley; and Columbia University.

He is the author of eight books, including Albert Frey, Architect; Adolf Loos: Architecture 1903-1932; and the forthcoming book to be published by Taschen, Louis I. Kahn. His byline has appeared over some 27 articles in such publications as Praxis and Casa Bella, and he has authored book forewords for publishers including Rizzoli, Monacelli Press, and Princeton Architecture Press. He has also participated in extensive symposiums and panels, and has lectured widely on topics in his field.

A number of architectural firms have benefited from Rosa’s expertise in design development, including Tsao & McKown Architects, NY; Gruen Associates Planners and Architects, Beverly Hills, California; Eisenman/Robertson Architects, NY; and Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, Architects, NY.

Rosa has been a juror on 12 architectural competitions, and a guest critic for 11 university architecture departments. The awards he has received include the Alumni Achievement Award, Pratt Institute, School of Architecture (1998); The AIA Scholastic Award, also from Pratt (1984), and the Outstanding Achievements Award, New York City Technical College, a division of City University. He has received grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a visiting scholar at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities.

Rosa received his Master of Science in Architecture and Building Design from Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors from Pratt Institute, School of Architecture, and an Associates Degree in Architectural Technology from New York Technical College, City University, NY. Rosa has done coursework toward an M.A. and Ph. D. degree from Columbia University, Department of Art History and Archaeology.



Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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