Sean Anderson

Sean Anderson was the Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) before returning to Cornell as an Associate Professor in Architecture and Director of the B.Arch. Program. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome with a P.h.D. in African Art History, he has practiced as an architect and taught in Afghanistan, Australia, India, Italy, Morocco, Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates. He has authored books on South Asian ritual sculpture, the modern architecture of colonial Eritrea, and coedited a volume dedicated to contemporary architecture and design in Sri Lanka. In 2020, he cocurated the exhibition On Muzharul Islam: Surfacing Intention at the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At MoMA, he organized the exhibitions Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter (2016–17); Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959-89 (2017–18); and four iterations of the Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1. He has also been responsible for or collaborated on permanent collection galleries including the ongoing Building Citizens and 2019's Surrounds. He co-organized with Mabel O. Wilson, Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, the first exhibition ever at MoMA to highlight the work of African American and African Diasporic architects (February 27–May 31, 2021).

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Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies (2005)
  • Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Fellowship (2005–06)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America (MoMA, 2021)
  • Building Citizens (MoMA, 2019–22)
  • Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age (MoMA, 2017–18)
  • Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter (MoMA, 2016–17)

Publications (Selected)

  • Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America, with Mabel O. Wilson, eds. (MoMA, 2021)
  • Modern Architecture and its Representation in Colonial Eritrea. (Routledge, 2015)
  • Flames of Devotion: Oil Lamps from South and Southeast Asia and the Himalayas. (UCLA-Fowler, 2006)
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