MOMA’s expansion results in dismantling of beloved bronze facade

MOMA’s expansion results in dismantling of beloved bronze facade

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is poised to expand. Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro have developed plans to integrate the current building with two adjacent sites to the west which will add 4,000 square feet of gallery space. One of these sites was previously home to the American Folk Art Museum and was purchased in 2011.

As part of the expansion, MOMA will dismantle, but preserve, the copper-bronze facade that has adorned the Folk Art Museum since 2001. The 63 cast panels are easily disassembled and slated to remain in storage. There has been much ado about the bronze facade because the public has become quite taken with its alluring metal luster. The question of historical preservation has been often discussed, but perhaps the more appropriate discussion is one of artistic usage.

The New York Times quotes Darcy Miro, one of the artists who collaborated on the facade: “It would be a kinder fate for the museum facade to be at Storm King, as the front of an imaginary building in an enclosure of fresh air, than to be buried in storage for the foreseeable future.”

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