Living Museums (1)

I have just received too late to include in the bibliography of my museums book, let alone any reference it it in the text, a very fascinating collection of interviews of the most important recent museum directors by Donatien Grau, who works at the Musée d’Orsay, under the title Living Museums: Conversations with Leading Museum Directors. It begins with interviews with Michel Laclotte and Alan Bowness – Bowness fascinating on his collecting philosophy- and includes an interview with Irina Antonova, the remarkable Director of the Pushkin Museum, who started working there in 1945 and only retired in 2013. I have just got to Peter-Klaus Schuster on the subject of the Neues Museum: ‘Chipperfield’s Neues Museum is a ruined temple with almost Piranesi-like qualities, a temple of remembrance like a palimpsest, with its damaged pieces of archaeology that directly reveal to Museum Island visitors the dignity, beauty, and sense of transience from antiquity to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. All the archaeological fragments are combined in a great collage that belongs to the archaeology of modernism – a very intelligent reconstruction concept, in my opinion !’

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