Thursday, October 8, 2009

New York Takes On Barnes

Jumping on the Robert Venturi bandwagon, a hack of a different sort has come out against the relocated Barnes Museum. This time in the form of the condescendingly elitist New York Times' architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff. Say what you will about Inga Saffron (Philadelphia Inquirer Architecture Critic and Pulitzer Prize Nominee), but she will tell you what she likes and why and spends the bulk of her articles discussing aesthetics rather than dwelling in the politics of "art". She engages all of her readers, allowing them to understand design instead of pretentiously trying to make those outside the art circle feel like slack jawed troglodytes for disagreeing. She's real.

Ouroussoff not only dislikes the design, he dislikes that the collection is being reloacated from Lower Merion. Apparently such a collection serves our culture better when limited to a knowledgeable art community rather than available to the urban public and tour busses. Aside from which he's clearly done no research into the reasons behind the move, and the problems between the current museum and the county. He's also done no research into the philosophy behind the design of the building in the grounds, meant to replicate the entire experience in the original location, a replication mandated as a requirement with the move.

This article reeks of jealousy more than anything.

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