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  3. Barry Bergdoll Breaks Silence About American Folk Art Museum

Barry Bergdoll Breaks Silence About American Folk Art Museum

Barry Bergdoll Breaks Silence About American Folk Art Museum
Barry Bergdoll Breaks Silence About American Folk Art Museum , © Flickr User CC Wallyg
© Flickr User CC Wallyg

Among the many ironies of the MoMA's decision to demolish Ted Williams and Billie Tsien's 12-year old building for the American Folk Art Museum, is the most obvious: as a cultural institution, the MoMA is meant to value and protect, not demolish, architecture.

Critics such as Justin Davidson and Martin Filler have pointed out that the irony is particularly acute considering the MoMA's "distinguished" and "revivified" department of architecture and design, curated by Barry Bergdoll. They note that Bergdoll, who they both praise highly as "visionary", has remained conspicuously silent on the decision. Davidson even claims that the MoMA can only appreciate such innovative "individuality [such as Bergdoll's] under glass."

However, a week after the decision first went public, Bergdoll has finally broken his silence to Architect's Newspaper. See what he has to say about the MoMA's decision, after the break...

Bergdoll told Architect's Newspaper that the decision, although "painful", was an administrative necessity. He noted that the building “was designed as a jewel box for folk art,” and told AN that it wasn't flexible enough to house a different collection or a different purpose. What's more, he pointed out that any significant change to the building (such as retaining only the facade or drastically restructuring it, as some have suggested) would “denature its total design aesthetic” and integrity.

Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Story via Architect's Newspaper

About this author
Vanessa Quirk
Cite: Vanessa Quirk. "Barry Bergdoll Breaks Silence About American Folk Art Museum " 17 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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