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NCMA Featured in Today’s WSJ

ncma_WSJ A feature piece in today’s Wall Street Journal centers around the North Carolina Museum of Art’s new wing. While the author is somewhat flattering and quickly conveys the NCMA philosophy, she also seems to pine for something more inspirational instead of something so quietly functional. Sound familiar?

Coincidentally, today’s Vanity Fair has a feature where they asked 52 “experts” to name the five most important works of architecture since 1980. They named 132 different structures, including the following museums:

While the list isn’t exclusively iconic structures, it is a list dominated with such. Making 28 of the 52 critics’ lists, the clear overall winner was Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. It is an iconic, daring, world-class masterpiece that has made Bilbao an internationally-known name. Why didn’t we get a building like this?

"I didn’t want a Gehry or a Calatrava," said museum director Lawrence J. Wheeler. "It needed to be not an overstated building, but an art experience; one that’s personal and inviting, not intimidating."

To be fair, the NCMA addition is probably too new to make these critics’ radars. If the Menil Collection made some lists, the NCMA addition is bound to make future lists. However, make no mistake, like Calatrava’s art museum in Milwaukee (which I visited Monday), Gehry’s Guggenheim is an art experience that is personal and inviting, and not intimidating. I do want to enter them.

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