Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Yes, indeed.

NY Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff on the new addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, designed by Steven Holl:
This freedom of movement adds to the sense of discovery, and it is reinforced by the museum’s policy of free admission, uncommon among the nation’s ever hungrier art institutions. This allowed Mr. Holl to create various entrance points into the building. The relaxed ease of entering fosters a sense that the museum and the artworks inside it belong to everyone, not to a privileged set of connoisseurs. (New York museums, take note.)
And art museums elsewhere, too. When public funds are used in the construction of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the art within should be open to all free or at a reasonable price:

"The museum also received $65 million from the city, the largest completed capital grant to a private institution in the city's history. (Unlike museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Modern does not ordinarily receive public financing.)", NY Times, Nov. 7, 2004.


sfmike said...

Dear Lisa: Sign me up for the crusade, and in an odd bit of synchronicity, I just blogged about cutting up my Fine Arts Museum membership card today at "Civic Center." Then I went to find out how many public funds the Fine Arts Museums (the deYoung and the Legion of Honor) get from the public pie through the General Fund and the Hotel Tax Arts Fund but couldn't find that information anywhere.

I called the San Francisco Art Commission who said they really didn't have anything to do with the Fine Arts Museum funding, and then various departments at the Fine Arts Museum itself. However, the only person who answered their phone was Brian in the Accounting Department. I guess everyone else must have been at important offsite meetings. I even went over to City Hall to see if any interns at Supervisor Daly's office could come up with the info. Uh-uh. No wonder the annual city budgeting process is such a mess. There's zero transparency and/or information out there.

pjwv said...

The Cleveland Museum of Art, which is pretty spectacular, is also free all the time, which I understand is thanks to Rockefeller oil money from back in the day. Between that museum and gorgeous Severance Hall, they have SF beat, though try telling SF that. What did our robber barons do for us?