Architects Mourn Former Folk Art Museum Building

As scaffolding went up around the former Folk Art Museum building on Tuesday, one of its two architects broke his silence to say how devastated he and his partner are about the Museum of Modern Art’s decision to tear down “one of our most important buildings to date.” “Yes, all buildings one day will turn […]

Saving Face: MoMA to Preserve and Store Former Folk Art Museum’s Façade

Those still mourning the loss of the Todd Williams Billie Tsien-designedAmerican Folk Art Museum at MoMA’s hands may find some (small) consolation in a new revelation: Although the building will still be demolished as planned, “We will take the façade down, piece by piece, and we will store it,” MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry told the New York Times. Taking down the façade […]

MoMA’s Proposal for Sculpture Garden Pleases and Riles

Peace and quiet can be hard to come by in the middle of Manhattan. Maybe, if the ice ever melts, you might balance a lunch burrito on your lap in the sunken plaza outside the McGraw-Hill Building. Or park yourself in a hotel lobby and pretend to be a guest. But for many people the […]

Paying Respects: Architects Mourn Loss of Folk Art Building

The Society for Ethical Culture was an apt setting for Tuesday night’s conversation on the Museum of Modern Art’s forthcoming expansion. The plan to add 40,000 square feet of gallery space to the museum’s Midtown campus has charged a virulent debate about ethics in the architecture community. Ever since the museum and its architects, Diller Scofidio […]

Building Faces Wrecking Ball. So Does Couples’ Friendship.

Two celebrated architect couples, whose careers took off almost simultaneously in the hothouse of New York City design and who supported each other’s successes, are barely on speaking terms. One pair, Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, designed the former home of the American Folk Art Museum on West 53rd Street; the other, Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, just […]

How to Adapt the American Folk Art Museum

When the Museum of Modern Art wrapped up six months of foregone agonizing and decided to raze the American Folk Art Museum, it claimed to be sacrificing a small work of architecture for the sake of Big Art. MoMA’s prescription for the ideal viewing experience is more galleries, more wall space, more hallways, and bigger lobbies. […]

Jerry Saltz to MoMA’s Trustees: Please, Reject This Awful Expansion Plan

Last week, Diller Scofidio + Renfro unveiled a design that replaces AFAM — a useless place for the exhibition of art, and a building whose demolition I have advocated — with even worse spaces. Their generic technocratic edifice is scornful to art, and will be less conducive to looking at art than the building it […]

New York’s Museum of Modern Art: a case study in how to ruin an institution

MoMA’s many expansions and redesigns have destroyed one of the most unique and precious public experiences of modern art. Who is Glenn D Lowry? A particular modern problem is that megalomania, especially when it involves real estate development, is the disturbance of many faceless men. And a faceless man is a difficult enemy.

MoMA Reveals Its Expansion Plans

The Museum of Modern Art is on the march again, advancing westward down 53rd Street, sweeping away the old American Folk Art Museum and planting its flag in the base of a future skyscraper. Only the American Folk Art Museum building, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s twelve-year-old gem, has to go, because, like a cobbler’s […]

Saltz: The Next MoMA Expansion Is As Big a Mess As the Last One

The word art barely came up. Maybe that’s why midway through this excruciatingly verbose three-hour closed-door briefing about MoMA’s second major rebuilding in less than ten years, I felt my eyes tear up and my stomach turn.

Jerry Saltz on MoMA’s Plan to Raze the Folk Art Museum: Good!

How sad. Just twelve years after it was built on W. 53rd Street next to MoMA, the former American Folk Art Museum is going to be torn down by its new owner: MoMA. What’s sad is not that the building is going; it’s that, despite near-universal rave reviews for its architecture, it was doomed to […]