Museums and Network Thinking
Museum of Modern Art architecture and design galleries. Source: MoMA.
Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, A Debate is Raging in the Museum World – and Design is at the Center, Fast Company Design, 27 April 2016
A few weeks ago, architects and art fans issued a bit of a collective freakout over a report that the Museum of Modern Art would be permanently “abolishing” its legendary architecture and design galleries. This week the museum responded, publishing a letter explaining that’s “absolutely not true.”
“I think the reaction in the press was less directed against our curatorial experiment than an expression of the fear that MoMA was no longer going to have its architecture and design collection on show in dense and medium-designated spaces,” Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson chief curator of architecture and design, told Co.Design. “This fear is unnecessary.”
Anxious architecture fans aside, the news that the galleries are being redesigned, to reopen next year to become exhibition space for special shows, is part of a shift taking place in many museums as they move away from strict categorization by medium (e.g., “architecture” and “painting”) and toward multidisciplinary, contextual curation. The way the public consumes art—and increasingly, design—is changing.