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OVERVIEW  
 

Museum architecture took as its model the eighteenth-century palace, with its noble entrance and awe -inspiring galleries . Examples here include the Fridericianum in Kassel and the old Stuttgart Staatsgalerie. The declarations of intent made at the founding of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1870 seem sober and pragmatic in comparison.  Art , thus functionalised, subsequently found itself much abused, in its early years in particular the museum formed the setting for some positively bucolic scenes . If the weather in Central Park was bad ,the Sunday picnic was promptly relocated to the museum, where gnawed chicken legs were thrown into the nearest amphora and afternoon naps were taken in the niches between Egyptian sarcophagi.


The advert of Modernism brought the museum new roles and responsibilities. Whereas it had originally been sought to bring the aura of works of art and the aura of museum architecture to congruence by giving them a “classical blessing”, this was bound to fail in the case of woks which took issue with the very nature of art. Deliberately or not , the immediate effect of a ready-made exhibits in the traditional galleries of the Louvre with be in irritate, to appear foreign and alienating of and even to spark uncontrollable confrontation with the architecture around it. A background as neutral and non-committal as possible was therefor sought against which to set interchangeable , temporary exhibitions -a tabula rasa for a calculable scenographic effect. The exhibition concept includes the consumablility of art, a fact which has provoked unkind references to the “supermarket of art”. Japanese museums often directly adopt advertising slogans from the consumer world, then they advertise their latest acquisitions , or the highlights of their collection on huge billboards like special offers.


Re-establishing the museum as a place of calculated cultural unity means acknowledging that the impact of the modern work of art reaches far beyond its frame and hence responding with spaces which are directly tailored to the works to be exhibited . Architecture does not take a subordinate role in such a dialogue situation, but rather discusses art in the full awareness of its content, as is extensively the case in Hans Hollein’s Museum. The museums of the 21th century will no doubt have to go even further and present not just the actual work of art by also the social environment. Otherwise the museum with its educational aims will find itself under  threat of domination by the art market and its superlatives. Every historical period will thus express its understanding of and relations with art in the architecture of its museums, which shall hence serve as a sensitive barometer of the state of culture.

 
   
   
   
   
   
   
GALLERY  
   
   
   
 
  1956-1964, Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona, ITALY
   
 
  1967-1979, North wing of the Metropolitan museum, New York, USA
   
 
  1971-1982, Städtisches Museum, Abteiberg, GERMANY
   
 
  1972-1983, The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, UK
   
 
  1977-1984, The Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, GERMANY
   
 
  1980-1983, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA
   
 
  1980-1985, National Museum of Roman Art, Merida, SPAIN
   
 
  1981-1986, The Menil Collection, Houston, USA
   
   
   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
ARCHITECTS  
 

HOLLEIN, HANS

ISOZAKI, ARATA

MEIER, RICHARD

MONEO VALLÉS, JOSÉ RAFAEL

PIANO, RENZO

ROCHE AND DINKELOO

SCARPA, CARLO

STIRLING, JAMES

   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
BUILDINGS  
 

1956-1964, Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona, ITALY

1967-1979, North wing of the Metropolitan museum, New York, USA

1971-1982, Städtisches Museum, Abteiberg, GERMANY

1972-1983, The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, UK

1977-1984, The Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, GERMANY

1980-1983, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA

1980-1985, National Museum of Roman Art, Merida, SPAIN

1981-1986, The Menil Collection, Houston, USA

   
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
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URBAN PLANNING
 

 

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