The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Brooke Hodge as deputy director, effective July 16. Cooper-Hewitt is engaging the talents of a recognized expert in the fields of architecture and design. Hodge is a curator, writer and critic, and has been the director of exhibitions and publications at Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum since 2010. In 2006, Hodge was a guest curator, alongside three Cooper-Hewitt curators, for the third National Design Triennial, “Design Life Now.”
“I’ve known and admired Brooke since her involvement with the 2006 Triennial at Cooper-Hewitt, and I’m thrilled she is joining us at this critical juncture,” said director Caroline Baumann. “Brooke will be diving into preparations for our opening later this fall, while partnering with me and museum teams on the exciting, future plans for the nation’s design museum.”
As curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles from 2001 to 2009, she organized major exhibitions on the work of architect Frank Gehry and car designer J Mays, as well as “Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture,” a groundbreaking exhibition that examined the relationship between contemporary fashion and architecture, which traveled to museums in Tokyo and London. Hodge is currently developing an exhibition on the work of British designer Thomas Heatherwick, which will open at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas in September and later travel to Cooper-Hewitt.
“The expansion and opening of Cooper-Hewitt marks the launch of an important new era not only for the museum but for design in general,” said Hodge. “This is such an exciting time to join Cooper-Hewitt, and I am really looking forward to working closely with Caroline and her stellar staff. I have admired the museum’s programs and collections from my West Coast vantage point for many years.”
From 1991-2001, Hodge was director of exhibitions and publications at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where she also held the positions of adjunct curator of architecture at the Fogg Art Museum and assistant dean of arts programs at the Graduate School of Design. At Harvard, she organized numerous exhibitions of the work of architects and designers, including Gio Ponti, Zaha Hadid, theater designer and artist Robert Wilson, and fashion designer Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons, among others. She holds a master’s degree in architectural history from the University of Virginia.
About Cooper-Hewitt’s Renovation
Cooper-Hewitt’s renovation is part of a $91 million capital campaign launched in 2006, which includes $81 million for renovation and reopening exhibitions and technology, digitization of the collections, and a $10 million endowment. The expansion includes enlarged and enhanced facilities for exhibitions, collections display, education programming and the National Design Library, and an increased endowment. To date the museum has raised $79 million against the $81 million renovation goal, and $8 million toward the $10 million endowment goal.
The museum is working with a team of designers to realize the new Cooper-Hewitt, including Gluckman Mayner Architects, Beyer Blinder Belle, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Local Projects, Walter Hood, Pentagram and Thinc Design.
About the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
As the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design, Cooper-Hewitt educates, inspires and empowers people through design. The museum is undergoing a transformative renovation resulting in 60 percent more gallery space and will open in late 2014 with an entirely new visitor experience. During the renovation, Cooper-Hewitt’s events and education programs are popping up locally at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center in Harlem and nationally with the Design in the Classroom program in New Orleans, New York City, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., Cleveland and Minneapolis. Cooper-Hewitt exhibitions are traveling the nation and the globe, and the “Graphic Design: Now in Production” exhibition is currently on view in Providence, R.I.