To advance the growing field of urban humanities, the Princeton-Mellon Initiative offers semester and year-long fellowships to visiting scholars, architects, critics, curators, and artists, providing an opportunity to engage in urban research with support from academic resources across campus. Mellon Fellows teach courses and conduct research in an inter-disciplinary manner with departments outside their field.
The Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities invites the University community to attend an afternoon lecture delivered by current Princeton-Mellon/PLAS Visiting Scholar Patricio del Real. His talk is entitled, "Adventures in Muralism: battling the white walls of modern architecture." Please register here.
In February 1933, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, opened its first Architecture Room. Developed by Philip Johnson along functionalist criteria, this environment was intended to showcase the products of modern industrial culture. Yet, against Johnson’s wishes, the Architecture Room also contained color reproductions of the Mexican frescoes by Diego Rivera. The presence of Mexican mural works in this modern functionalist interior casts new light on the bare walls of architectural modernism as defined by Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock just a year earlier in the seminal exhibition: Modern Architecture: International Exhibition. Through these and other exhibitions, he examines the impact of Mexican Muralism on architectural modernism in the United States at a time when its agents aimed to define the limits and image of the modern world.
Architecture curator and scholar Patricio del Real (link is external) specializes in Latin American modern architecture and its transnational connections with US cultural institutions. Del Real holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and has written extensively on topics related to postwar politics and architecture, the historiography of modernism, and the poetics of space. He is a curatorial assistant in MoMA's Architecture and Design Department and has taught seminars on architecture and design throughout Latin America and the U.S.. He is co-editor of the anthology, Latin American Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories (Routledge, 2012), and Taking Positions: architects write from Latin America, a forthcoming anthology of primary source material to be published as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s Documents series. Del Real is currently at work on a book about MoMA's mid-century architecture exhibitions on Latin America.