Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Left Coast Museum

As the Philadelphia Museum of Art begins courting community support for its its $500 million, 10-year expansion, it's worth looking at what San Francisco's De Young Museum in Golden Gate park has accomplished. The De Young was forced to reinvent itself after an earthquake damaged its mission-style building. San Francisco, like Philadelphia, is normally cautious and conservative in its architectural choices. But for the rebuilding, San Francisco reached out to the Pritzker Prize-winning, avant-gardists and childhood friends Herzog and De Meuron. The building seems to be DeLovely, at least on the inside. Christopher Hawthorne's review in the Los Angeles Times is a bit long-winded, but hits all the right notes.

The De Young makes an interesting counterpoint to the recently renovated Museum of Modern Art. New York's Moma took a one-size-fits-all approach to its galleries. The De Young had its architects tailor each gallery space to the objects on display.


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