A New Way to See Art: The Modern, Completed
The new Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman education building at the Museum
of Modern Art is unlikely to appease those who feel the museum has
become a soulless corporate machine. But at least it underscores what
is most alluring about the museumâs recent expansion.
A taut composition of floating planes and elegant lines, the education
wing has a cool, self-confident air like that of the museumâs 2004
gallery building, which was also designed by Yoshio Taniguchi. Finally,
we can experience the museum as a complete urban composition. And while
its sleek packaging may alienate those who consider it evidence of the
institutionâs aloofness, it reaffirms that Mr. Taniguchi is adept at
designing complex spaces, often with real seductive power.
The eight-story building, which opened yesterday, anchors the eastern
end of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. Its main facade
there, a towering glass wall capped by a soaring steel canopy, mirrors
the facade of the David and Peggy Rockefeller Building across the
garden to the west, creating a monumental frame for the activity below,
like the prosceniums of twin stages. But it is the audience that is on
display. Seen from the street or the garden, the museum presents a
continuous pattern of activity, reaffirming its public mission.