Image by Daniel A. Norman
Everyone likes to pick on the Brooklyn Museum’s bent towards populism, but is the New York Times story on the subject complete? A couple of responses from facebook and the blog’s comment section suggests it’s not:
David: This article frustrates me to no end. While I agree that there's DEFINITELY room for debate about Brooklyn's choice of exhibitions (as is true with any large institution), this article is essentially reporting one bar chart. Yes, attendance dropped massively last year, but that has more to do with them struggling to stay alive. But the two years prior had an impressive increase, the goal of tripling attendance was never going to be reached. Corrected headline: “Museum doesn't reach ridiculous goal and barely stays alive during enormous financial catastrophe. Trustees get grumpy and Robert Storr complains”. Go back to writing your annual article about the new web “site” ICANHAZCHEEZBURGER, NYTimes.
Susan Adele Wiggins I don’t think any borough wants to be the “middle of the art world.” WTF?
New York Times ICANHAZCHEEZBURGER jokes aside I still think the museum’s subpar programming is the source of their problems. The institution is about a 30 minute walk from where I live and yet I rarely feel compelled to visit. That’s because I’m too often disappointed. Far too much crap finds a home at that museum: art fair staple Devorah Sperber, a woman who recreates famous works of art with spools of thread, Click! a crowd sourced photography show of bad photography, and the college level postcolonial critiques of Yinka Shonibare’s costumed headless mannequins. Even when they launch shows by well known artists they manage to fuck it up. Anyway one else remember the woefully incomplete Annie Leibovitz photography exhibition with all those God awful landscapes? I love The Brooklyn Museum staff so it pains me to say this, but if they want people to visit, they have to start launching shows worth the trip.
Update: Museum Nerd asks whether visitor numbers should be the hallmark of a museum’s success.
From our comment’s yet another Dave suggests it’s a “legacy of disappointment” that effects the museum’s visitor numbers. Blockbusters shipped in and out of the museum that have been organized elsewhere, uninviting architecture (the seemingly always vacant ground floor for example), and decorating decisions that make no sense (American Wing = disaster).