The Museum of Modern Art’s announcement on January 8 that it will indeed tear down Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building of 1997–2001 felt like hearing that a relative or close friend had finally succumbed to an incurable disease. Even though the outcome had been expected, it was a shock nonetheless."MoMA Loses Face": Martin Filler decries the museum's expansion plan in the NYRB.
The whole layout and concept of the museum must be reconsidered from scratch, which goes beyond architecture to the institution’s mind-set. MoMA is now as jammed and joyless as the Van Wyck Expressway on a Friday in July. That’s not because it is a victim of its own success; it’s because the museum is a victim of its own philosophy. This is not just nostalgia talking.Michael Kimmelman condemns the plan in the Times.
There’s a timely logic to institutional trashings of the unrelaxed, unopen, and precious, in line with recent installation and performance art. The popularity, relative cheapness, and space- and calendar-filling efficiency of such works have inspired museum administrators to recast art as a service industry, bent on entertaining a customer who is always right.Peter Schjeldahl eulogizes the Folk Art Museum building in The New Yorker.
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