Posts tagged with "The Museum of Modern Art MoMA":

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FBI files, a missing MoMA house, and the life of modernist architect Gregory Ain

On show now at the Center for Architecture (CFA) in New York is an exhibition on the late architect Gregory Ain. Titled This Future Has a Past, the show looks at Ain's life while focusing on his Exhibition House for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Garden, a project that mysteriously disappeared. Guiding audiences through Ain's personal life, This Future Has a Past attempts to shed light on the house's curious history. Ain practiced mostly around Los Angeles and his style comes under the umbrella of midcentury modernism. He even taught the likes of Frank Gehry. However, as Phillip Denny points out in his New York Times article, not much else is known about the architect, especially by those outside L.A. Unless you are the F.B.I., that is. Ain, who died in 1988 at the age of 80, was a Leftist and his political stance meant he was under scrutiny during the Red Scare. This happened after a housing complex (which never came to fruition) appeared on the F.B.I.'s radar; it was rumored the scheme was connected to the Communist Party. In 1950, Philip Johnson, who the F.B.I. was also monitoring due to his supposed connections to the Nazi Party, commissioned Ain to design a house for the MoMA to stand as an exhibit in its garden. The house was the second of its kind. Marcel Breuer, also commissioned by Johnson, had controversially supplied the previous MoMA Garden house in 1949. Mysteriously, however, Ain's house appears to have gone missing, with little clues as to its whereabouts. Breuer's house and the house that came after it, the Japanese House by Junzo Yoshimura, meanwhile, still survive having been relocated elsewhere. Christiane Robbins, founding principal at Metropolitan Architectural Practice (MAP) and professor of architecture at California College of the Arts, created the CFA exhibition with Katherine Lambert, who is principal and director of special projects at MAP. The pair's interest was piqued when the photographer Julius Schulman mentioned Ain's mysterious past. “He said there was a story there that wasn’t getting told,” Lambert told the New York Times. “But he wouldn’t tell us what it was.”

The exhibition at the CFA includes a model of Ain's MoMA house. The model had turned up at architect Theodore "The Dean of Models" Conrad's house in New Jersey. In addition to this, F.B.I. files procured by Robbins after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request are also on display. The files disclose oddly specific details on Ain, such as his weight and also his alias, Fred Grant.

Despite the unearthed files, Ain's house is yet to be found. “To put all of that money into the exhibition house only to demolish it doesn’t make sense,” said Robbins.

This Future Has a Past is presented in cooperation with Anyspace. The exhibition was initially intended for the 15th International Venice Biennale of Architecture but is on show at the CFA until September 12, 2017. A special talk, "Who was Gregory Ain?" is planned for September 7. More details on that can be found here.

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Digital Frank Lloyd Wright catalogue is almost as good as the hardcover

In conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright: Unpacking the Archive, a new online version of the exhibition catalogue book is now available to preview and purchase. 

Unlike a standard ebook, this digital version is designed specifically for an art book reading experience. While the catalogue is available in print format—and there still is nothing like thumbing through physical pages—the digitized version offers a user-friendly interface whose features make up for the lack of tactility.

Published through Musebooks, perhaps the best feature of this digital version is the ability to toggle between text view, image view, and page view while staying in the same section. The image view compiles all of the catalogue’s illustrations into one webpage and allows readers to zoom into the detailed drawings without losing much of the resolution, a feature that is critical for discerning readers.

The catalogue and exhibition highlight Wright’s expansive practice and feature architectural drawings, models, furniture, films, and television broadcasts. Focusing on objects from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives, they include essays penned by architecture professors and critics like Mabel O. Wilson, Michael Desmond, and Ken Tadashi Oshima, accompanied by almost 300 illustrations.

A preview of the digital version of Frank Lloyd Wright: Unpacking the Archive is available through Musebooks, where it is also being sold for $25.99. (The hardcover, meanwhile, will set you back $44.15 on Amazon.)

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As Frank Lloyd Wright turns 150, the MoMA immerses visitors in 450 works by the iconic American architect

The Museum of Modern Art is throwing Frank Lloyd Wright a birthday party by brushing the dust off of some of his oldest works in the new exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive.

Opening June 12, four days after the architect’s 150th birthday, the exhibit features approximately 450 works in the form of drawings, models, films, furniture, textiles, photos, and building fragments. The works are organized into 12 sections to present Wright’s work as an anthology, exploring the timeline of major events and projects in his life and career.

A catalogue will accompany the exhibition, featuring newly photographed drawings, models, and buildings, as well as a series of critiques and essays by guest scholars—including a piece by Barry Bergdoll, curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA and organizer of the exhibit.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive The Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd Street, New York June 12–October 1

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See Frank Lloyd Wright in three places this June

At three places this June, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to see Frank Lloyd Wright's work, and a bit of the man himself. New York's Yossi Milo Gallery is presenting Ezra Stoller's images of Wright's most iconic buildings on the 150th anniversary of his birth. Stoller, a master chronicler of modern architecture who died in 2004, first photographed Frank Lloyd Wright's schools in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Scottsdale, Arizona in 1945. Black-and-white images of Taliesin and Taliesin West (the summer and winter campuses, respectively) will share wall space alongside prints of the Marin County Civic Center, the SC Johnson Research Tower, Fallingwater, and the Guggenheim, just uptown. That exhibition, aptly named Ezra Stoller Photographs Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture, opens June 29 and runs through the end of the summer. Over at MoMA, curators are set to unveil a new anthology-style show that will address Wright's multiple practices as an architect, designer, builder, and thinker. Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive divides itself into 12 sections, each devoted to a selection of objects from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives. These items, from the 1890s through the 1950s, will be displayed alongside objects from the MoMA and other collections. Unpacking the Archive opens June 12 and is organized in collaboration with Columbia University's Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. But wait, there's more: the Guggenheim Museum is celebrating Wright's birthday on June 8 with, among other things, reduced-price admission for all visitors and an actor/historian playing Wright who will blow out birthday candles in the rotunda.
Ezra Stoller Photographs Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture is on view at Yossi Milo Gallery from June 29 through August 25. More information can be found on the gallery's websiteFrank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive runs from June 12 through October 1 at MoMA, with hours and additional programming information at moma.orgFrank Lloyd Wright 150th Birthday Celebration will be held on June 8 at the Guggenheim, and the fête's full schedule is here.
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Carlo Caldini, co-founder of Gruppo 9999, passes away

Carlo Caldini, co-founder of Gruppo 9999, passed away on February 22 in his home in Florence, Italy. He was 76 years old. Together with fellow members Giorgio Birelli, Fabrizio Fiumi, and Paolo Galli, Gruppo 9999 was selected through an open competition to participate in the ground-breaking exhibition Italy: the New Domestic Landscape at MoMA in 1972, curated by Emilio Ambasz. Their contribution, Casa Orto—Vegetable Garden House, would become one of the defining projects in the early ecology movement. In revisiting the teachings of St. Francis the group introduced a new kind of architectural sensitivity, combining a deep respect for nature with advanced technology. Their “tondo” portrait of St. Francis, with a television monitor broadcasting the Saint’s image above, eloquently spoke to the great dichotomy of their era, where technology was seen to defile nature. For Gruppo 9999, nature and technology could co-exist in building a better environment for living. Gruppo 9999 emerged from the same post-war generation that engendered the Florentine Superarchitecture movement, from which emerged Archizoom and Superstudio. The first collective assembly formed in 1968 was called 1999, but reconstituted itself in 1970 as 9999. They went on to found the discotheque Space Electronic in 1969, a self-organized production, constructed on collective know-how and communal labor. Inspired by a visit to Andy Warhol’s Electric Circus in New York, half ludic dance hall, half cybernetic chamber, the Space Electronic discotheque succeeded in consolidating 9999’s reputation as a critical player among this second wave of Radical Italian designers. While the discotheque hosted a number of major acts, including the Living Theatre’s Paradise Now directed by Julian Beck and Judith Malina, the Nobel prize winner Dario Fo with Franca Rame, along with Rory Gallagher and Van Der Graaf Generator, it is this author’s opinion that one of their most significant contributions was the launching of a new form of temporary radical design school. Born from a collaborative effort with Superstudio, the Florentine discotheque was transformed into a tactical site for full-scale installations and performance spaces during the Mondial Festival: Life, Death and Miracles of Architecture, that culminated in a three-day event in November of 1971. This festival included the experimental learning center called S-Space: the Separate School for Expanded Conceptual Architecture. It was the first school of its kind to chart the progress of the Italian Radical design movement. This short-lived project, to an extent related to Alvin Boyarsky’s International Institute of Design (IID) whose summer sessions included the participation of many of these same Italian groups, is one of the lesser-known chapters in the Radical movement’s history. The Mondial Festival featured Gianni Pettena, UFO., Remo Butti, and Zziggurat, the Milanese pamphleteer and media theorist Ugo La Pietra, the Florence-based Fluxus musician Giuseppe Chiari and Florentine artist/musician Renato Ranaldi, along with several international contributors, including the American Ant Farm, and the San Francisco–based Portola Institute and from England, Street Farmer. With the slogan, “…we should better love our planet!”  the event proved to be a significant study in cross-disciplinary actions, and just as importantly, the testing grounds for full-scale installations and live interventions. Space Electronic was an ideally receptive environment for the type of multi-purpose and interactive happenings that so distinctly characterized the Radical Italian design movement in this prime moment. The catalog, a white fake fur covered publication, remains a rare collector’s item. Carlo Caldini ran Space Electronic right up until the end, remaining an important figure in Florentine culture. With his passing, we lose another important eye witness to this critical period in architectural history.
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Jenny Sabin wins this year’s MoMA Young Architects Program

Ithaca, New York—based practice Jenny Sabin Studio has won the 18th iteration of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program for her project entitled Lumen. The immersive design will be on show starting June 27 at the MoMA PS1 courtyard in Long Island City.

Lumen changes throughout the day, offering shade and shelter from the sun, while also providing artificial illumination after sunset. This is achieved thanks to a tubular lattice canopy comprised of recycled, photo-luminescent, and solar active textiles that absorb, collect, and emit light. The canopy reacts to changes in daylight, absorbing and producing light when necessary. In conjunction with this, fabric stalactites will release mist in response to visitors' proximity, allowing the adaptive structure to respond to changes in heat and the density of the crowd.

Sabin's design will be present for the 20th season of Warm Up, an outdoor music series from MoMA PS1, and will stay on view for the rest of summer. Lumen was chosen as the winner ahead of four other projects. The competition brief called for projects that address environmental issues such as sustainability and recycling. The temporary outdoor installation had to be capable of providing water as well as seating and shade.

"Jenny Sabin's catalytic immersive environment, Lumen, captured the jury's attention for imaginatively merging public and private spaces," said Sean Anderson, associate curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. "With innovative construction and design processes borne from a critical merging of technology and nature to precise attention to detail at every scale, Lumen will no doubt engage visitors from day to night in a series of graduated environments and experiences."

Losing out to Sabin were four other finalists. These included Bureau Spectacular (Jimenez Lai and Joanna Grant), Ania Jaworska, Office of III (Sean Canty, Ryan Golenberg, and Stephanie Lin), and SCHAUM/SHIEH (Rosalyne Shieh and Troy Schaum). Despite not being realized, their work will be on show at the MoMA during the summer.

“The Young Architects Program remains one of the most significant opportunities for architects and designers from across the country and world to build radical yet transformative ideas. This year's finalists are no exception; their projects illustrate a diversity of approaches and refreshing ideas for architecture today,” Anderson added.

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The MoMA delves into designing for refugees but falls short on substance

Modernism’s alienating functionalism seems not so subtly hidden in the perfect grids and modular shelters of refugee camps. The urgency of survival turns shelter into a problem to be solved while ignoring the complexities of refugees’ situations. For example, the 2007 edition of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Handbook for Emergencies presupposes that refugee camp shelters can be organized around nuclear family units (hardly a universal cultural constant). MoMA associate curator Sean Anderson cited a similar example of poor shelter design as the impetus for his exhibition Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter. In Jordan, where Anderson spent extensive time visiting camps, refugees were given metal shelters—a disastrous choice in the punishing desert heat. To counter the seductive notion that “architecture is the solution to assist, aid, represent and help these populations,” as Anderson said, the exhibit presents a range of drawings, photography, artworks, and objects to question whether there is a simple “solution” at all. While Insecurities laudably forefronts this perennial issue (there are some 60 million refugees worldwide) and highlights what makes it challenging (a complex fusion of geography, violence, international politics, and architecture), it also seems like a missed opportunity to take a long, hard look at specific instances where designers failed refugees.

I say a long, hard look because—as Anderson himself said in an interview—refugees often find themselves trapped in camps for years, decades, sometimes in seeming perpetuity. One of the exhibition’s most poignant works is a large wool tapestry designed by Sahrawi refugees in the Western Sahara. The Sahrawis were forced from Morocco some forty years ago and have subsequently remained in a remote region of neighboring Algeria ever since. The National Union of Sahrawi Women, in collaboration with Switzerland and Germany-based architect Manuel Herz, created this map of Rabouni (the camp-turned-capital of the Sahrawi government-in-exile). The camp bears the hallmarks of a proper capital, with ministries of defense, the interior, and education, though with a key difference: The UN’s World Food Program is at the heart of Rabouni.

Much like the Rabouni tapestry, Refugee Republic testifies to how camps evolve. This immersive audiovisual installation mapped the sounds and layout of Camp Domiz, a collection of some 58,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq. On a visceral level, it places you in the camp: Users hear the sounds of a small city while they take an illustrated walking tour of its shops, bus stops, community spaces, restaurants, hairdressers, and more. While permanency and the camp-cities are critical dimensions to the global refugee crises, the exhibition also rightly highlights the extreme and immediate vulnerability of refugees: Liquid Traces: The Left-to-Die Boat is a video, assembled by a team of researchers and designers, that tracks how a boat of migrants was left to drift on the Mediterranean Sea within a NATO surveillance area, leaving 9 survivors out of 72.

Yet, for all the urgency and nuance that some works in Insecurities bring, others fall short. One wall features a grid of photographs depicting different emergency shelters made from plastic, metal, sandbags, etc. It seems dangerous to present these shelters—as well as large photographs of camps from around the world—without context. Tasked with helping respond to a refugee crises, any architect or organizer would immediately face tremendous dilemmas: By preparing a community for the long haul (building permanent homes, economic infrastructure, local government) refugees may fear that tacitly admitting that a return to their homeland would be impossible and, consequently, that they must settle for whatever fate their host country provides.Government-provided shelters and protective fences may later seem like prison cells and walls. Where’s the line between providing shelter and containment? How does architecture—supposedly solid and sturdy—respond to communities in limbo?

This is a paradox the exhibition makes clear and it’s a question that architects must consider if they’re to be part of a response to refugee crises. But when the exhibition displays photographs of countless camps—Nizip II (a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey), Mugombwa in Rwanda, Dadaab in Kenya, Dheisheh in the West Bank, and shelters in Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport—it makes one wonder: What worked? What failed? How can architects respond? Perhaps a tall order, but the exhibition could have investigated further to offer at least bread crumbs toward a new, comprehensive architectural response.

Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter highlights how refugees are caught between invisible borders, relocated to the periphery, and controlled by governments under the guise of protection or security. Those are the symptoms of a deeper reality: Refugees are, by definition, individuals and communities without the protection of architecture or government. The fact that refugees are without the advocacy of their national government (assuming it exists somewhere) makes the role of the designer even more fraught (not to mention the potential shades of colonialism, something the exhibition doesn’t address). The UN can provide instructions to help leaders manage a crisis, but we would hardly expect a single, universal manual for any field of design or planning. If architects are to step up, there must be a deep and broad institutional awareness of past failures and successes to chart a path forward.

Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter Museum of Modern Art, New York, through January 22

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MoMA recreates a dozen interiors for “How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior”

How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior will recreate a dozen full-scale interior spaces dating from the 1920s to the 1950s and feature over 200 objects. Each interior will focus on the design elements within its specific setting, as well as its connection to external factors and attitudes—aesthetic, social, technological, and political.

Divided into three chronological groupings—the late 1920s to the early 1930s, the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, and the late 1940s into the 1950s—the scenes will also explore several designers’ own living spaces, and frequently overlooked areas in the field of design, such as textile furnishings, wallpapers, kitchens, temporary exhibitions, and promotional displays. Works by major women architect-designers, many created in partnerships, also will be highlighted. Featured collaborators include Lilly Reich and Mies van der Rohe; Florence Knoll and Herbert Matter; and Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier. Among the interiors on display will be the 1927 Velvet-Silk Café, designed by Reich for a women’s fashion exhibition in Berlin, with tubular steel furniture by Van der Rohe; 1929 furniture and exhibition designs by Perriand, Le Corbusier, and Pierre Jeanneret; the 1948 Knoll furniture showroom in Manhattan, designed by Knoll and Matter; and a 1959 study bedroom for the Maison du Brésil at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris by Perriand, Le Corbusier, and Lúcio Costa.

How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York Through April 23

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MoMA exhibit will examine Constructivism during the rise of the Russian avant-garde

This December, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will showcase the role of Supremacism and Constructivism in Russia's art world between 1912 and 1934. The emphatically titled exhibit, A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde, will fall in line with the centennial of the Russian Revolution in 2017 and display works relating to the realms of painting, drawing, sculpture, prints, book and graphic design, film, photography, and architecture. A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Gard will feature works from some of Russia's leading figures within the aforementioned disciplines. These include Vladimir Tatlin, Iakov Chernikov, El Lissitzky, Kasimir Malevich, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Lyubov Popova, Alexandr Rodchenko, and Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg, among others. The exhibition will use their work to show the sense of creative urgency, radical cross-fertilization, and synthesis that was present during the era. The exhibit will also illustrate the Russian avant-garde's impact on the sociopolitics and the production of art at the time. In addition, utilitarian objects that reflect that period's changing in production methods and social and political climate will be on display. Architecture–and in particular, Constructivist architecture—is due to feature in A Revolutionary Impulse. Work from renowned Constructivist Vladimir Tatlin will be exhibited; they were famously seen at The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0.10 (zero-ten), held in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) in December 1915. Nonrepresentational counter-reliefs–reliefs with a particularly pronounced tensionfrom Tatlin's rare Brochure for Tatlin’s counter-reliefs exhibited at 0.10 are due to be on display. Tatlin, though, isn't the only Constructivist architect who'll be featured. Iakov Chernikov's Architectural Fantasies: 101 Compositions in Color, 101 Architectural Miniatures–his work to imagine a future symbolizing the avant-garde culture within the Soviet Union, never realized due to Joseph Stalin's opposition to the Constructivism movement—will also be on view. As too will be Kazimir Malevich's Suprematist composition Airplane Flying which was exhibited alongside Tatlin and Chernikov's work at 0.10, 101 years ago. Malevich's later Suprematist compositional workWhite on White (1918), one of the iconoclastic paintings during its time, will also be exhibited. A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde will be open to the public from December 03, 2016 through March 12, 2017.
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MoMA has acquired the original 176 emojis

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York announced today that it has acquired the original 176-character set of emojis for their permanent collection. The original "12 x 12 pixel humble masterpieces," as MoMA called them in their Medium post, were developed by NTT DOCOMO under the supervision of  Shigetaka Kurita. The original set was released to cell phones in 1999. This set off the beginning of an entirely new language that would eventually become ubiquitous in mobile messaging. MoMA credits the new language with altering the way we communicate. "The design of a chair dictates our posture; so, too, does the format of electronic communication shape our voice." The institution gained notoriety for these cheeky acquisitions when they got the "@" symbol and a set of seminal video games, all of which is a 21st-century continuation of curator Paola Antonelli's famous Humble Masterpieces show from 2003 that set off a decade-plus exploration of the beautiful in everyday objects. That show, which displayed everything from band-aids to light bulbs under plexiglass, even made references to Philip Johnson's original Machine Art show by including the ball bearings that were one of the first acquisitions by MoMA in 1934. As for emojis, this set was seminal in the history of telecommunications. The 176 emoji (picture characters) became an instant hit and were copied by rival companies in Japan. When Apple released the updated, unicode version for iPhone in 2011, they became the new form of communication we know today. Paul Galloway, MoMA architecture & design collection specialist, said that "This acquisition was the work of many people both at MoMA and at NTT DOCOMO. First and foremost I must thank the indefatigable Paola Antonelli, our fearless advocate for expanding an appreciation of the field of design to new realms, who initiated this project. I also thank our Chief Curator, Martino Stierli, A&D Curatorial Assistant Michelle Fisher, Alexis Sandler of the MoMA General Counsel office, and Betty Fisher in the Exhibition Design department. And I commend and send thanks to NTT DOCOMO’s large team, who exhibited tremendous patience, flexibility, and an adventurous spirit well in keeping with their company’s great heritage."
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MoMA launches extensive digital archive dating back to its 1929 founding

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has launched a comprehensive online exhibition archive that dates back to the museum's founding in 1929. The database will be accessible to historians, students, artists, and anyone interested in modern and contemporary art. It features materials from over 3,500 exhibitions, including installation photography, press releases, catalogues, and more. The resources are available at no charge, as to "directly align with the Museum’s mission of encouraging an ever-deeper understanding of modern and contemporary art and fostering scholarship," according to a press release from the museum. The exhibition history project was initiated and overseen by Michelle Elligott, chief of archives, and Fiona Romeo, director of digital content and strategy. The process took three MoMA archivists two and a half years to integrate over 22,000 folders of exhibition records dating from 1929 to 1989. Future phases of the project will include thousands of film series presented by MoMA’s Department of Film over its 80-year history, a history of performance at MoMA and MoMA PS1, and the exhibition history of MoMA PS1. Visit the archive at moma.org/history.
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Curator Martino Stierli on the future of MoMA’s architecture and design galleries

In The Architect’s Newspaper April East edition, editor in chief William Menking broke the news that MoMA will be closing its architecture and design galleries. To continue the conversation, Menking sat down with Martino Stierli, the museum’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design.

The Architect’s Newspaper: As part of MoMA’s renovation of the current building, the collection galleries on the third floor of the museum, which include the architecture gallery, were closed over the course of the last few weeks. These galleries will reopen in a new configuration in early 2017. Can you explain that new configuration and how you believe the architecture and design collection (the museum calls them “medium designated”) will be better represented?

Martino Stierli: Indeed, as has been communicated earlier, the whole third floor is currently undergoing a renovation with the goal of having three bigger galleries that will have a variety of uses. One of the galleries has already undergone a slight conversion. That is the former design gallery in which we are currently showing A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond. The other two new galleries on the third floor will open early next year. Going forward, all three of these galleries will be used for a variety of programs that include collection-based shows as well as special exhibitions. 

With regard to your question about the galleries for the architecture and design collection, these will be located in the new building. Until this new wing opens—given that we are going to have less space throughout the renovation—we are going to have to be more flexible about how we make best use of our available spaces. This doesn’t mean, though, that we are not going to have any media-specific installations during this period. So for example, we are working on a collection-based exhibition called Interior Propositions, which is curated by Juliet Kinchin. This exhibition will be shown where we are currently presenting A Japanese Constellation. Immediately after that, in summer 2017, the same space will be part of the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition, specifically for the education program. The main part of the exhibition will go into one of the new galleries, which will measure roughly 10,000 square feet. Having recently acquired the entire Frank Lloyd Wright Archives with Columbia University, that exhibition will again be overwhelmingly collection-based.

The Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition is an example of how we will be using spaces that have not previously been available for architecture and design collection shows. We’re also currently preparing an exhibition on the design of the early computer age that is going to go into a gallery on the second floor, traditionally [a space that] has been used for prints. Moreover, [associate curator] Sean Anderson is working on a collection-based exhibition on borders and migrations that will be presented in the Dunn Gallery on the second floor. The survey exhibition on the architecture of socialist Yugoslavia exhibition that I’m working on for the summer of 2018 will again go into the space on the third floor where the Frank Lloyd Wright show will be presented next summer.  So one could say that a certain continuity on the third floor will be ensured. At the same time, exhibitions organized by other curatorial departments will also be shown on that floor. 

So, because the museum is going to be larger with the new addition, it’s still not worked out where things are going to go.

That is correct. The new buildings will not open before 2019, and we are still working intensely on figuring out how the new spaces will be configured and what will go where. While we have not finalized the specific locations for the different parts of our various collections, we are committed to medium-dedicated galleries.

As far as the next few years are concerned, during the renovation and expansion projects, we will have to operate with more flexibility simply because we won’t have the same square footage available throughout the museum. Nevertheless, we are fully committed to presenting our rich collection in a way that will do justice to the specific needs of each medium, including architecture and design, while making visible the many meaningful connections among the different arts. It is a strategy that we think of as both/and: We are committed to both medium-dedicated galleries and more broadly comprehensive ones. There is no change in policy in this regard and the abolishing of architecture and design designated galleries is not and never has been an issue under consideration.

What you’re saying is that, in 2019, when all this opens up, there will be medium-designated galleries?

Yes. I can’t tell you at the moment what these galleries will look like specifically, simply because we are still very much working on these questions. But there will be medium-designated spaces.

If the departments of architecture and design will no longer have any dedicated exhibition spaces, the fear is that this collection will openly serve as a background to the other arts like painting and sculpture. You seem confident that this will not happen.

Yes. At the same time, I also want to say that I am interested in experimenting with new forms of displaying our collections and to see how far we can go in affording a more comprehensive look of the history of modernism. The exhibition on the fourth floor that deals with the 1960s is an example of this kind of experimentation, but it would be wrong to assume that this will be a model for other shows going forward that will also take a more comprehensive approach than we have traditionally done.

I agree with your belief that architecture is an art on the same level as painting, sculpture, and photography, but don’t you think, because of its necessity to be created collaboratively in a workshop, or needing to sometimes surrender to the wishes of the patron or client, or need to consider structural necessities, that architecture has its own requirements that can only be explored in a dedicated gallery? Doesn’t architecture also benefit from a gallery dedicated exclusively to its own medium?

Yes, I absolutely agree, and hence I believe it is important to have a space at hand in which the narratives specific to modern architecture and design can be explored.

Do you have plans to display the museum’s enormous collection of nearly 200,000 architecture and design objects? Many of these will not qualify as great major works, but are nevertheless important to the understanding of the museum. 

Several of the exhibitions that I mentioned earlier are actually collection shows: Interior Propositions is a collection show. Frank Lloyd Wright is a collection show. The Borders and Migrations show is mainly a collection-based show, even though it will include some loans. The computer age design exhibition is also a collection show. And after the expansion opens, we’ll have much more space to show the collection. The whole idea of this expansion project is to have more space for our amazing collection.

How much more square footage are you getting?

50,000 more square feet and a 30 percent increase in gallery space. We will still only be able to present a fraction of the collection at one time, but it will be significantly more than before.