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Towards a New Museum

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Hardcover published by Penguin Group USA, Inc

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About This Book
The last thirty years of the twentieth century saw the birth of more than six hundred art museums in the United States alone, with equal proliferation in much of Europe. Such projects as Frank Gehry's Guggenheim in Bilbao and Richard Meier's Getty Center in Los Angeles have dominated television newscasts and newspaper headlines worldwide. The success or failure of these new museums, in aesthetic, educational and financial terms, results from a variety of factors, none more important than their architecture.



In this unique investigation, architectural historian Victoria Newhouse challenges many hitherto accepted premises of museum design. She demonstrates that new museums are often based on old concepts that no longer apply. This unvarnished analysis is informed by interviews with museum directors and curators, collectors, artists and the architects themselves.



Newhouse divides her discussion according to the dominant characteristics of the museums: private collections, single-artist museums, sacred spaces, artists' self-created sites, and museum additions. In addition to the Getty and the Guggenheim Bilbao, the author discusses the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas; the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; the Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art in Helsinki; Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Grand Louvre and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; and many more.
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The last thirty years of the twentieth century saw the birth of more than six hundred art museums in the United States alone, with equal proliferation in much of Europe. Such projects as Frank Gehry's Guggenheim in Bilbao and Richard Meier's Getty Center in Los Angeles have dominated television newscasts and newspaper headlines worldwide. The success or failure of these new museums, in aesthetic, educational and financial terms, results from a variety of factors, none more important than their architecture.



In this unique investigation, architectural historian Victoria Newhouse challenges many hitherto accepted premises of museum design. She demonstrates that new museums are often based on old concepts that no longer apply. This unvarnished analysis is informed by interviews with museum directors and curators, collectors, artists and the architects themselves.



Newhouse divides her discussion according to the dominant characteristics of the museums: private collections, single-artist museums, sacred spaces, artists' self-created sites, and museum additions. In addition to the Getty and the Guggenheim Bilbao, the author discusses the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas; the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; the Kiasma Museum for Contemporary Art in Helsinki; Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Grand Louvre and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; and many more.
Product Details
Hardcover (336 pages)
Published: December 28, 2006
Publisher: Penguin Group USA, Inc
ISBN: 9781580931809
Other books byVictoria Newhouse
  • Renzo Piano Museums

    Renzo Piano Museums
    Creating space for the display of works of art has intrigued Renzo Piano throughout his thirty-five years of architectural practice. Today he is acknowledged the pre-eminent designer in this field, entrusted with the collections of the most distinguished art institutions in the world. Renzo Piano Museums presents a portfolio of eighteen museum projects, beginning with the revolutionary Pompidou Center in Paris and continuing to the most current designs for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sarajevo. Featured are the Menil Collection in Houston, the Beyeler Foundation on the outskirts of Basel, Switzerland, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. Lush color photographs and handsome presentation drawings and plans convey the form and detail of these extraordinary buildings. Complementing the visual presentation is an essay by Victoria Newhouse, which surveys Piano's museum work and places it in a historical context. In particular, she focuses on the key elements of Piano's aesthetic: natural light, transparency, and the piazza or gathering space. All were introduced at the Pompidou Center and continue to inform the designs.

    Site and Sound

    Site and Sound
    The Architecture and Acoustics of New Opera...
    Victoria Newhouse, noted author and architectural historian, addresses the aesthetics and acoustics in concert halls and opera houses of the past, present, and future in this stunning companion to the highly regarded Towards a New Museum. Site and Sound explores the daunting, perennial question: Does the music serve the space, or the other way around? Heavily illustrated throughout—with historic images, spectular color photographs, detailed drawings—this volume is an informed and enjoyable presentation of a building type that is at the heart of cities small and large. Newhouse starts with a survey of venues from ancient Greek and Roman times and progresses to contemporary works around the world. She singles out Lincoln Center in particular for its long history and its transitions and remodelings over the years. Two major chapters cover the present: one focuses on recent work in the West, including the National Opera House of Norway in Oslo by Snøhetta (2008), the Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal, by Rem Koolhaas (2005), and many more; the second examines the boom in concert halls in China. A final chapter looks at projects that are currently planned and the future of an architecture for music.

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