Pat McElnea

Collections Assistant, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive

Pat McElnea is Collections Assistant in the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Archive, where he manages all photographic documentation, the annals of student coursework and reviews, research engagements, and the full array of historical documentation, much of which details New York City's urban development. He curates all hallway shows in the school's third floor space, assists with all exhibitions in Foundation building's Houghton Gallery, administers the archive's predominantly digital catalogue, and regularly collects interdisciplinary data from all studio classes representative of the School of Architecture. More recently he realized all photographic work for the extensive Lessons from Modernism exhibition, organized an show of drawings by McKim, Mead, & White, and another of photographs by Stanley Prowler taken in 1970s Brazil. In fall of 2013, he will hang a selection of city plans printed from the archive's lantern slide collection. Used for pedagogical purposes, they reduce expansive urban programs to legible geometries.

In addition to his duties at The Cooper Union, and teaching Video at Vassar College, McElnea is an artist who exhibits his work internationally. This includes a recent exhibition at the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende Arte Contemporaneo in Santiago, Chile. He received his MFA from Yale University's School of Art and had the privilege of attending Cooper Union for his BFA.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.