Thursday, June 1, 2017

MoMA’s Makeover Rethinks the Presentation of Art

by Robin Pogrebin

New York Times

June 1, 2017

The final design for the Museum of Modern Art’s $400 million expansion project, which will be officially unveiled on Thursday, is striking and provocative less because of its look than its implicit message: MoMA isn’t modern yet.

Under the new plans, the museum is moving away from discipline-specific galleries that feature established artists — many of them white men — and toward more chronological and thematic approaches that include multiple formats as well as more minority and female artists.

Museum executives also want to update and streamline their Midtown Manhattan building once and for all, after several iterations over the years. The most recent — an $858 million reconfiguration in 2004 by the Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi — resulted in congestion and overcrowding.

The new design calls for more gallery space and a transformed main lobby, physical changes that, along with the re-examination of art collections and diversity, represent an effort to open up MoMA and break down the boundaries defined by its founder, Alfred Barr.


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