Monday, November 15, 2004

MOMA To Re-Open Saturday 

The enlarged and completely renovated building is being described as perfectly unifying architecture, art, and the city of New York. It could not have received a better review then the one written today by Nicolai Ouroussoff of the New York Times. Here's a sample:

The building, which reopens on Saturday, may disappoint those who believe the museum's role should be as much about propelling the culture forward as about preserving our collective memory. This is not the child of Alfred H. Barr Jr., the founding director who famously envisioned the Modern movement as a torpedo advancing relentlessly toward the future. Its focus, instead, is a conservative view of the past: the building's clean lines and delicately floating planes are shaped by the assumption that Modernity remains our central cultural experience. The galleries, stacked one on top of the other like so many epochs, reinforce a hierarchical approach to history that will bolster the Modern's image as a ruthless arbiter of taste.

But the museum essentially abandoned its claim on the future decades ago. That role will have to be picked up by another generation and another museum. For now, we should applaud the Modern for what it is: a monument to 20th-century values, a precisely calibrated architectural frame whose emotional energy springs from the art it houses. It is one of the most exquisite works of architecture to rise in this city in at least a generation.

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