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Art Museums in an Age of Bread and Circuses

by
March 2006, no. 279

Art Museums in an Age of Bread and Circuses

by
March 2006, no. 279

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the brave new world of Museum Expansion Incorporated. Do you have an overstuffed museum? Is it situated, perhaps, next to an urban area in need of a makeover: some rotting docklands, say, or an abandoned flour mill? Are you privy, alternatively, to plans for a combined retail/office/residential development in need of that one extra component to give it the ultimate lift? Then buttonhole a politician eager for a good news story for a change, generate a pile of capital works grant applications, and take out some philanthropists for a really long lunch. You are now free to commission an architect or two. Either young and keen, or old and eminent, it doesn’t much matter as long as they have a creative vision expansive enough to sustain an innovative piece of ‘destination’ architecture.

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