Patricio del Real (On Leave: Return 2020)
Patricio del Real works on modern architecture and its transnational connections with a focus on Latin America. He explores the changing ideological maps and geographies of modernity, and the modes in which cultural maps have been imagined and re-imagined as historians, critics, and architects tell the story of modern architecture. His courses —including, Architecture and Authoritarianism, Architecture Cultures of Latin America, Historiography of Modern Architecture: In Search for a Global History — explore modernism as a global phenomenon, taking on questions of political and cultural power through modern architecture.
His current book project, Inventing Latin American Architecture: Politics and Race at the Museum of Modern Art, unravels how postwar politics and modern architecture came together at MoMA. Examining multiple architecture shows, it reveals MoMA as a cultural weapon, as its Department of Architecture and Design navigated treacherous politics and internal conflict to secure its survival. Del Real co-edited the anthology, Latin American Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories (Routledge, 2012), and Taking Positions: Architects Write from Latin America, an anthology of original documents to be published in MoMA’s Documents series.
Del Real pursues and studies curatorial practices in architecture with seminars and workshop courses such as Displaying Latin America, developed in collaboration with departments and museums across the university, and in the symposia Curating Architecture Across the Americas, an ongoing program that brings together historians, scholars, and curators to define this nascent field.
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. Before becoming Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University, he was Visiting Associate Research Scholar and Lecturer in the Program of Latin American Studies at Princeton University. Prior, he worked at MoMA’s Architecture and Design Department, on several collection and temporary exhibitions, and co-curated 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. He was the recipient of the 2015 Ann and Lee Tannenbaum Award for Excellence in Curatorial Practices, given by The Museum of Modern Art Board of Trustees.