Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Don’t Build It, They Won’t Come…. Unless!

I was drawn in to this article because of the title – Pushing Back Against Scale and Brand in Frank Gehry’s Latest Luxury Art Hanger... The article seemed at first glance to promise to discus exactly what we have been talking about in class around the Taipei performing arts center and in general building new flashy buildings for the arts without giving enough thought to the rest of the gorilla, such as programming, events, visitors, cost of operation and upkeep, and the 3, 5, and 10 year plans.  It turns out this article wasn’t exactly about that, despite it’s misleading title (everyone needs a little controversy to draw them in). Surprisingly, the article seems to praises the new Louis Vuitton Foundation museum that opened in Paris earlier this week. Although the critic calls out the clean, empty, white box feel of the space, he also highlights some more intimate moments the viewers can have with the work.
What really sets this museum apart from others we’ve discussed in class is two fold – it’s all privately funded and it’s collection is privately owned (by Bernard Arnault and/or La Fondation Louis Vuitton).  Personally, I think the building is quite breathtaking and from what I read about the works they are showing they’re all things I would be interested in seeing. But I was immediately skeptical about the mission of the foundation and their long time goals, so I dug around and found this:

A private cultural initiative, the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s aim is to promote and support contemporary artistic creation for a wide French and international audience.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton opens an exciting new cultural chapter for Paris. It brings the city a new space devoted to art — especially contemporary art — and above all a place for meaningful exchanges between artists and visitors from Paris, from France, and from the entire world. By encouraging spontaneous dialogue, the new Fondation seeks to inspire both emotion and contemplation.

This is a distinctive cultural initiative because the Fondation is private. It has been made possible thanks to the corporate patronage of LVMH and the Group’s companies, notably Louis Vuitton, reflecting the values shared by all the people of LVMH and its shareholders.

The Fondation tran-scends the ephemeral present by creating optimistic momentum and embodying a passion for artistic freedom. It is very much a dream come true.

I’m curious what others think about the Foundation, the building, the collection and the mission…


One comment on “Don’t Build It, They Won’t Come…. Unless!

  1. hgenetos
    October 24, 2014

    Frank Gehry designs have long been controversial. I did a huge report on him for my undergrad architecture class. So many bad memories from that class I won’t revisit it.

    His designs are hit or miss. Just look at the Eisenhower Memorial and how long it has taken to get it done and how it does not embody Eisenhower the man.

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