The Museum Book

I’ve been asked by Mark Fisher how I’m getting on with the museum book. The truth is, it’s pretty well finished, due to be delivered to Thames & Hudson at the end of the month. It’s title has changed, thanks to Harry Pearce, the wonderful designer at Pentagram, who picked one of my discarded titles, THE ART MUSEUM IN MODERN TIMES, maybe because it looks so well typographically and has a modernist ring to it, which is appropriate since the book starts off with Alfred Barr, the Museum of Modern Art and its legacy. It has – shamefully – taken me at least as long to do the footnotes as it did to write the book, an arduous process because I did not keep references as I went along and it has taken me far longer than anticipated to track down the source of quotations, even with the help of Google Books, which I have now understood how to work. A defect of the book is that some of the sentences are too long, as you might have guessed, but my editor has been cutting them down with a good chainsaw. Actually, it has been the utmost pleasure, the last three months of close work on the text, editing, correcting, fact-checking, re-reading, mostly in the British Library, now no longer possible. Out in a year’s time, if all goes well.


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