Bubbly Museums 2.0

Robin Pogrebin reports on all the museums waking up with a financial and strategic hangover after a decade of Bilbao Effect-ed building.

It's good, obvious-and-not-just-in-hindsight stuff. I seem to recall during the midst of the boom, the American Cinematheque in Paris blew its wad on a Frank Gehry building it couldn't handle. Now the Cinematheque's run off of some guy's dining table or whatever, and the Gehry building's, uh, something else.

When MoMA picked Yoshio Taniguchi for their expansion, I translated a very similar article on Japan's 1980s museum bubble from Yukio Futagawa's GA Document 33: Japan' 92.

I don't have it in front of me, but the gist is roughly the same: Japanese cities felt a competitive urge to build trophy museums, which almost immediately began faltering on their collecting, programming, or operations because of incredible strategic, political, and financial short-sightedness. City fathers wrote one check, and they were done.

Taniguchi is just one architect whose reputation was formed in large part on his beautiful contributions to this bubbly museum era. I'll try and track that article down.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: December 14, 2009.

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