Old Masters, New Spaces: Historical Art in Modernist Buildings
This discussion will place the Frick’s venture in the context of other modernist spaces in which historical collections have been displayed.
This event was recorded at 1 PM EDT / 7PM CET (19:00)
Does historical art look incongruous in modernist buildings? Many of the 20th century’s leading architects certainly didn’t think so – and nor do the museum visitors who prize such eminent buildings and collections as the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon), the Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth), São Paulo Museum of Art and the Museo di Castelvecchio (Verona).
As the Frick Collection prepares for its temporary move into the Breuer building on Madison Avenue in New York – originally designed by Marcel Breuer to house the Whitney Museum of American Art – this discussion will place the Frick’s venture in the context of other modernist spaces in which historical collections have been displayed, many of them designed for the purpose. What aesthetic and interpretative possibilities are opened up by displaying pre 20th-century art in such buildings? What theoretical and practical demands do such projects make, in terms of materials, light or more broadly how modernist buildings envisage the relationship between people and interior space? What do we learn about historical works in these buildings? And does the architecture encourage us to see art differently?
[Image: West Gallery of The Frick Collection, photo: Michael Bodycomb]
Curator, The Frick Collection, New York
Charles Saumarez Smith
Former CEO and Secretary, Royal Academy, London
Director, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal
Moderator: Thomas Marks