Living Museums (2)

The other wonderful long interview in Living Museums is with Tom Krens, the charismatic ex-hippy, ex-Director of the Guggenheim Museum. In writing my book, I knew that he was important, but it was very hard to find out about his thinking. For Living Museums, he has been interviewed at great and revealing length, talking about where his ideas came from, many of them while smoking pot, as he describes it, and going through the Williams College slide collection night after night in the late 1970s. As I had assumed, but didn’t have straightforward evidence, many of his ideas came from Deconstructivism: ‘The 1970s were, of course, the golden age of French Deconstructivism, and Minimal and large-scale land-based art were mounting a challenge to the traditional norms of how art was made, exhibited, and transacted. The aesthetic and structuralist discourse could be applied to museums, and here was a real world, real-time opportunity to direct some of that thinking to a tangible endeavor that had just fallen into my lap’.

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