Met Museum to rebuild unpopular wing with $ 125 million donation
UPPER EAST SIDE, NY – The unloved modern wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art could finally get a makeover thanks to a $ 125 million donation from a trustee, the institution said on Tuesday.
Since 2014, the Met has sought to rebuild the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, an extension completed in 1987 which awkward layout has been ridiculed by visitors and critics for its non-chronological order of works of art and unimpressive appearance, once assimilated at “an airport in Akron”.
But that initial renovation plan fell through due to a lack of funds, and the costs estimated for the design by architect David Chipperfield jumped to $ 800 million, the The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Today, renovation plans are resuming thanks to an expensive donation from the museum’s trustee, Oscar Tang, financial executive, and his wife, Agnes Hsu-Tang, archaeologist and art historian. This is the largest capital donation in the museum’s 151-year history.
When complete, the new modern and contemporary art wing will include 80,000 square feet of galleries and will bear the Tang name.
“Having witnessed the turbulent times that many continue to go through, we find the Metropolitan Museum of Art to be an exemplary custodian and presenter of artistic heritages across cultures and time,” the couple said in a statement.
The couple are both of Chinese descent, and Oscar Tang was the Met’s first Asian American director when he joined the museum’s board in 1994.
While some questioned the Met’s expansion into modern art given the existence of the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and the Museum of Modern Art, the Times reported that the Met’s new wing will better accommodate some. of its existing treasures, including the 79 cubist paintings it was offered in 2013.
The wing renovation will cost around $ 500 million, according to the Times, and an architect will be chosen by this winter. Once opened, the space will reflect the Met’s “updated curatorial direction,” which emphasizes interdisciplinary work among the museum’s 17 curatorial departments, the institution says.
“The reinvention of these galleries will allow the museum to approach the art of the 20th and 21st centuries from a global, encyclopedic, daring and surprising point of view, all values ââwhich reflect the heritage of Oscar and Agnes” museum director Max Hollein said in a statement. declaration.