Thursday, 02 February 2012 21:33
THE GLASS HOUSE NAMES DIRECTOR
Henry Urbach joins The National Trust Historic Site on April 2
NEW CANAAN, Conn. (February 2, 2012) – The Glass House and The National Trust for Historic Preservation are pleased to announce that Henry Urbach has been named Director of The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut. Mr. Urbach will assume this role on April 2, 2012. Rena Zurofsky, museum consultant, will continue as Interim Director through the end of March.
Previously, Mr. Urbach served as Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). His exhibitions — known for their provocative and timely ideas, breathtaking installations, and broad appeal —were widely lauded. Mr. Urbach left SFMOMA in May 2011 to pursue independent writing and curatorial work, including research toward a project about the Glass House compound as a laboratory for curatorial experimentation.
“I can hardly imagine a place more full of potential than the Glass House. It has long contributed to culture by bringing together art, architecture, landscape, and people in significant and inventive ways. That is exactly what I hope to foster,” said Urbach.
Henry Urbach holds a degree in History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University, a Masters degree from Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a Master of Arts in History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University. He will reside in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The Glass House is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a part of the Sites Department led by Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, Vice President of Historic Sites. “I am delighted that Henry will become a part of our team. His passion, intellect and skill make him the ideal director for the Glass House at this moment in time,” said Rael-Gálvez. “I am confident Henry will work to develop and sustain an environment where creativity, consciousness and community ensure the site’s success and future contribution to American culture.”
Henry Urbach began his career as a project management associate at Carnegie Hall, during the period of its restoration and renovation, foreshadowing a career dedicated to producing spaces that support creative labor and its power to inspire. Henry holds a degree in History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University (AB 1984 Magna Cum Laude), a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (M.Arch. 1990), and a Master of Arts in History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University.
Early in his career, Henry worked for several architectural firms in New York City, all the while developing his profile as a writer and teacher. He has taught and published extensively in the fields of architecture, art, design, and culture with writings that encompass theory, criticism, and journalism; his first book, “Installation Architecture: A Primer,” is currently in development. Urbach has taught at numerous schools of architecture, including UCLA and Parsons School of Design, as well as the Curatorial Practice program at California College of the Arts and the Master in Public Art Studies program at USC.
In 1997, Mr. Urbach launched Henry Urbach Architecture, a unique New York-based gallery committed to joining the worlds of contemporary art and experimental architecture. He ran this business for nearly ten years, achieving international recognition as he built an impressive stable of artists, a first-rate clientele including private, corporate, and institutional collectors, and participated in leading art fairs.
In 2006, Urbach moved to San Francisco to become Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His exhibitions — known for their provocative and timely ideas, breathtaking installations, and broad appeal — as well as his acquisitions (in architecture, art, graphic design, and product design) were widely lauded; also recognized were his abilities to raise funds, build community support and, in general, stimulate a sense of excitement about architecture and design. From 2006 – 2011, Urbach organized the following exhibitions at SFMOMA: ‘Your tempo: Olafur Eliasson,’ ‘Cut: Revealing the Section,’ ‘246 and Counting: Recent Architecture and Design Acquisitions,’ ‘Double Down: Two Visions of Vegas,’ ‘Patterns of Speculation: J. MAYER H.,’ ‘Austere,’ ‘Otl Aicher,’ ‘Sensate: Bodies and Design,’ ‘ParaDesign,’ ‘Tobias Wong,’ and, in collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, ‘How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now.’ Many were extensively reviewed and acclaimed and Urbach became known for a way of making exhibitions that, only partly beholden to objects, were distinctively experiential, spatial, and atmospheric.
Urbach left SFMOMA in May 2011 to pursue independent writing and curatorial projects, including research toward a publication and exhibition about the Glass House compound as a laboratory for curatorial experimentation, a place where architecture, art, landscape, and people were brought together and presented as never before.