What is the place of the museum in the modern city? What role does architecture play? How can these buildings be effectively interpreted? Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan broke with all existing conventions, setting a new standard for the postwar art museum and, together with the Museum of Modern Art, firmly establishing the city of New York as the cultural capital of the 20th century. A decade later, the significance of this new architectural genre was not lost on Georges Pompidou when he commissioned the cultural center that would eventually carry his name—and launch the successful careers of its architects, Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers—hoping that it would position Paris as New York’s cultural rival.
Beginning with the examples of the Guggenheim and the Centre Pompidou, this panel discussion considers the role of the museum in the postwar city, and how its position has evolved in the years since, as museum projects have grown in scale, number, and prominence. Some have argued that a phenomenon of “museum mania” has emerged, with every city feeling the need to build a museum designed by a star architect in order to effectively compete.
Join Francesco Dal Co, Anthony Alofsin, Troy Conrad Therrien, Billie Tsien and Tod Williams as they discuss the complex and changing relationship between architecture and the art museum and consider how historians can best research, write about, and understand these contemporary monuments. The discussion is moderated by Arezoo Moseni.
Registration is recommended, but does not guarantee admission. First come, first seated. All registered seats are released 15 minutes before start time, so early arrival is recommended.
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