Zoë Ryan

Zoë Ryan


CCL Class of 2014


Art Institute of Chicago


John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design

Institution at time of Fellowship

Art Institute of Chicago


Iwona Blazwick, Whitechapel Gallery

Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago where she is building the museum's first collection of contemporary design and expanding its architecture collection. Her recent exhibitions include "Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects" (2012); "Fashioning the Object: Bless, Boudicca, and Sandra Backlund" (2012); "Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention" (2011); and "Hyperlinks: Architecture and Design" (2010), the most visited architecture and design exhibition in the museum's history. Prior to working at the museum, Ryan was Senior Curator at the Van Alen Institute in New York. Ryan received her BA from the University of Sussex, England and her MA from Hunter College, City University of New York. She has lectured internationally and authored and edited publications including Building with Water: Designs, Concepts, Visions (Birkhäuser, 2010). In 2012 she was a member of the curatorial advisory team for the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. In fall 2012, Fast Company magazine named Ryan one of the 50 people shaping the future of design. Ryan is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a lecturer in the Art History Department of the School of the Art Institute. Ryan is currently curating the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial.

Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Articles Related to Zoë Ryan

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Curatorial Chat | Zoë Ryan at the helm of the Art Institute’s architecture and design department

Zoë Ryan joined the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006 as the inaugural Neville Bryan Curator of Design, and in 2011 was named chair of the Department of Architecture and Design. Ryan’s tenure marked an expanded scope for the museum and its collection with the introduction of design to the ... Read More >

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CCL Announces 2014 Fellows

The Center for Curatorial Leadership (CCL) named its 2014 class of Fellows, recognizing twelve art museum curators with a track record of exceptional work and the potential for even more significant contributions as future leaders in the field. This is the seventh class of CCL Fellows and the largest to date with individuals ... Read More >

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Curatorial Chat | Eva Respini on rethinking the promise of a ‘contemporary’ collection

  Eva Respini began as the Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) in March 2015. Since then, she has been mounting an ambitious program of temporary exhibitions alongside installations drawn from the ICA’s growing permanent collection. Respini’s current exhibition, First Light: A Decade of Collecting ... Read More >