Extreme Makeover: Museum Edition

WASHINGTON'S PHILLIPS COLLECTION

Great museums are living institutions. They grow by acquiring quality art consonant with their own (think of the Met in New York), or reshape themselves for greater access (think of the Louvre and I. M. Pei’s pyramid). Those that aspire to achieve greatness sometimes emphasize presentation at the risk of neglecting content (think of Richard Meier’s Getty or Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao).

In 1921, when Washington, D.C.’s, Duncan...

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About the Author

 

Leo J. O’Donovan, SJ, a frequent contributor to Commonweal, is president emeritus of Georgetown University.