New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is closing its galleries dedicated to architecture and design.

Endless House: Intersections of Art and Architecture
Endless House: Intersections of Art and Architecture © Jonathan Muzikar/The Museum of Modern Art - There has been a trend in the museum world toward these sorts of multi-disciplinary exhibitions that display work for all the arts under a same title. The Tate Modern has been doing this for many years (perhaps because it does not have an architecture collection) and MoMA seems to be finally joining this display bandwagon. This new reconfiguration, where medium-specific galleries are closed and the  architecture and design collections are merged into the larger ones, will have effects for both the collection and the importance of architecture and design in the museum. If you visit MoMA today with the aim of viewing its significant collection ofarchitecture drawings, models, and design objects, then you will no longer be able to see them in a focused and dedicated room. In the longer run, it means that architecture and design will be competing with all  the other departments and curators for exhibition space. Architecture has traditionally been the most difficult of the arts to display and much of the time it develops with little or no overt connection to the other arts.

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The museum claims that this is a temporary result of the current Diller Scofidio and Renfro (DS+R) renovation and expansion and has not “made any statements yet on how the collection will be displayed following the expansion.” During this period of reorganization, the galleries will be repurposed for general collection and themed exhibitions.

The museum is clear to point out that this does not mean the end of large themed traveling or loaned exhibitions devoted to architecture and design. There is, forexample, a new mixed-media installation of work taken from the museum’s collection on the 1960s that will be “among the new ways that [we are] showing the collection during construction.”

There has been a trend in the museum world toward these sorts of multi-disciplinary exhibitions that display work for all the arts under a same title. The Tate Modern has been doing this for many years (perhaps because it does not have an architecture collection) and MoMA seems to be finally joining this display bandwagon.

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