Towards A New Museum

by | 24. Aug 2012



There is bland architecture that isolates and deadens art, and there are expressive spaces that point up, elevate and animate art to make it part of our lives. In “Towards a New Museum”, I merely observe and assess what others have done and will be doing to report on the direction museum architecture is taking.
/Victoria Newhouse

The last thirty years have seen the birth of more than 600 art museums in the United States alone, with equal proliferation in much of Europe.

Divided into various themes covering the relationships between museums and collectors, trustees, artists, and the public, this book takes a critical look at innovative architecture that interacts with art and the public in new ways; the modernist concept of exhibiting art in a neutral white cube; settings, often converted from other uses, that engage the viewer with the site, the building, and the art; homes designed with separate museum galleries and private museums designed like homes; and the virtual museum.

Two decades before the Centre Pompidou began to change the social implications of art, the New York Guggenheim laid the groundwork for a new way of looking at it. By his replacement of the traditional box with a continuos spiral in the Guggenheim, Wright prepared the way for the creation of the “Museum as Environmental Art.
/Victoria Newhouse

Photo-3.jpg Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiralling Guggenheim Museum

Photo-2.jpgRenzo Piano/Richard Rogers Centre Pompidou


The book includes Philip Johnson’s Painting and Sculpture Galleries in New Canaan, The Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Museum in Switzerland by Gigon and Guyer, The Menil Collection by Renzo Piano, The Goetz Collection in Germany by Herzog and de Meuron, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis by Tadao Ando, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki by Steven Holl, Rotterdam Kunsthal by Rem Koolhaas, Kunsthaus Bregenz by Peter Zumthor, The jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind, The Getty Center in Los Angeles by Richard Meier and The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao by Frank O. Gehry among many others.

Museums satisfy…. a deep natural want…. as deep and as natural as sex or sleeping.
/Philip Johnson