The New American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum
The old Engelhard Court - photo by Jim in Times Square
Yesterday I went to my favorite space in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
It wasn't there.
The Charles Engelhard Court in the American Wing has been renovated. The light-filled pavilion framed by the Greek Revival limestone facade of Martin E. Thompson’s Branch Bank of the United States has been transformed - the raised planters and benches were removed - and the result is cold, impersonal, and blah.
It is, in my best technical parlance, a 'nothing space'.
"Sadly, the museum will be a far less hospitable place without this relaxing oasis to enjoy ...."
.... so why did they do it? why change the best space in the best museum in the world?
Morrison H. Heckscher the chairman of the American Wing said, “There was never much art in here. Since it was a garden court, the focus was on tranquillity. The only sculptures were in the planting beds, where nobody could get close to them.” (this info is from culture grrl arts journal.)
Oh, right...who needs tranquillity when you have so much art to look at?
no soul here
You cannot appreciate the art when your feet hurt you or you want to take a break. Why are people friendly spaces devalued by the culturati ? do they think that benches and greenery take away attention from their wares?