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Brooke Hodge Named MOCA Architecture, Design Curator

Art * Duties will include gallery at Pacific Design Center, opening Jan. 14.


Brooke Hodge, assistant dean for arts programs at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, has been named curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. The appointment, announced Thursday, formalizes the museum's plans to enter the field of design while continuing its commitment to architecture.

Hodge will develop exhibitions, publications and programs for a new venture--the MOCA Gallery at the Pacific Design Center, which will open Jan. 14--and for the museum's two buildings downtown. Her new job will begin on Jan. 8.

Hodge, 40, has "just the right mix of qualifications" for the job, museum director Jeremy Strick said. "She has a strong scholarly background, imagination and a stunning breadth of interests. It was essential for us to find a person who is not only interested in doing all the things associated with architecture and design, but is also engaged in their relationship to a range of visual arts."

Hodge said she is looking forward to the opportunity to develop her own ideas for exhibitions and follow them through "from beginning to end," instead of working within the university's relatively prescribed system.

"I also just love Los Angeles," she said. "It's the embodiment of the things I really love--modern and contemporary architecture and modern furniture--so I just feel it's the right place for me." Hodge, who was born in Vancouver, Canada, did her undergraduate work in art history at Queen's University in Ontario and earned a master's degree in architectural history at the University of Virginia. She was exhibitions coordinator at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal from 1987 to 1991.

Joining the staff of Harvard's Graduate School of Design in 1991, she began as director of exhibitions and publications, then became adjunct curator of architecture and design. Last June she took on additional administrative and programming responsibilities, as assistant dean for arts programs.

Among her current projects is "Richard Neutra's Windshield: A House for the Brown Family on Fishers Island, N.Y.," an exhibition that will open at Harvard's Fogg Art Museum next fall, then travel to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the UCLA/Hammer Museum. She is also working on "Le Corbusier and Japanese Modernism," an exhibition scheduled to open at the Fogg in 2003.

At MOCA, Hodge will succeed architecture specialist Elizabeth A.T. Smith, who became chief curator of Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art last year. Smith organized major architecture exhibitions for MOCA. Strick says that in addition to such major shows, Hodge will also work on giving architecture and design a "more consistent" presence at the institution through "relatively small-scale" programs.

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