Terence Riley (curator)

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Terence Riley (November 6, 1954 – May 17, 2021) was an American architect and museum curator. He was the chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art from 1992 to 2006.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Riley was born in Elgin, Illinois, son of Philip Riley a printer, and Mary Jo (Lundberg) Riley, a homemaker.[4] He grew up in Woodstock, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.Arch in 1978, followed by an M.Arch at Columbia University in 1982.[5]


In 1984, Riley formed the firm Keenen/Riley in 1984 with John Keenen.[6] As a member of ACT UP, Riley worked on Let The Record Show…, a window installation that opened at the New Museum in 1987.[7] In 1990, he opened the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia, and was recruited by Philip Johnson a year later to work at the Museum of Modern Art, becoming Philip Johnson Chief Curator for architecture and design in 1992. He helped to found the MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program. In 2006 he became director of the Miami Art Museum, stepping down in 2009 to return to architectural practice in Miami.


  1. ^ Bernstein, Fred A. (May 19, 2021). "Obituary: Terence Riley, 1954–2021". Architectural Record.
  2. ^ "Terence Riley, former Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the MoMA, is dead". The Architect’s Newspaper. May 18, 2021.
  3. ^ Russell, James S. (21 May 2021). "Terence Riley, Architectural Force in the Museum World, Dies at 66". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Russell, James S. (May 21, 2021). "Terence Riley, an Architectural Force in the Museum World, Dies at 66". New York Times. Vol. 170, no. 59067. p. A26. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  5. ^ Makovsky, Paul (May 21, 2021). "Architect and Curator Terence Riley Dies at 66". Architect Magazine. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  6. ^ "In Memoriam Terry Riley". Columbia GSAPP. May 21, 2021. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  7. ^ Takemoto, Tina (Winter 2003). "The Melancholia of AIDS: Interview with Douglas Crimp". Art Journal. 62 (4): 82. doi:10.1080/00043249.2003.10792186.