Museums in the 21st Century: Concepts, Projects, Buildings
New Mexico Museum of Art
Jan 29, 2010 through Apr 18, 2010

Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Daniel Libeskind, Tadao Ando, Spacelab’s (Peter Cook/Colin Fournier), Rafael Viñoly, and Yoshio Taniguchi are members of a pantheon of architects regarded for their original, innovative, and groundbreaking designs. In common, they were all commissioned between 2000 and 2010 to design museums – some realized, others in progress, and a few indefinitely on hold.

The first ten years of the 21st century witnessed the apex internationally for the commissioning of museum buildings by star architects, such as these. The many new museum buildings, renovations, and/or expansions taking place all over the world interested the director of the Art Centre Basel, Suzanne Greub, who then developed the exhibition Museums of the 21st Century, opening at the New Mexico Museum of Art on Friday, January 29, 2010.

The installation of the Museums in the 21st Century: Concepts, Projects, Buildings at the New Mexico Museum of Art will conclude the exhibition’s successful national and international tour. Museum curator Merry Scully has selected more than a dozen museum building projects from the original exhibition for inclusion in the installation in Santa Fe.

Among the architectural projects featured in Museums in the 21st Century are Frank Gehry’s unrealized design for the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Renzo Piano’s lyrical Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland; Daniel Libeskind’s controversial extension of the Denver Art Museum; Tadao Ando’s dramatic design for the partially recessed Chichi Art Museum, Naoshima, Japan; Spacelab’s (Peter Cook/Colin Fournier) “friendly alien” the Kunsthaus Graz, Austria; Rafael Viñoly’s design of The Nasher Museum, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and Yoshio Taniguchi’s expansion and renovation of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Greub considered the new architecture in terms of the look and function of the structures and how the new architecture would interplay with each particular museum’s history, geography, holdings, and programming. Art Centre Basel and the represented architects collaborated on the design of each project with fully realized architectural models, selected sketches, computer renderings, and animations of the various museum projects.

Art Centre Basel has produced a catalog in several languages with images of the represented projects and critical essays by acclaimed experts. The catalog is available for sale in the New Mexico Museum of Art shop.

Museums in the 21st Century: Concepts, Projects, Buildings is an Art Centre Basel exhibition ( Idea and concept Suzanne Greub and Thierry Greub, Art Center Basel; Realization: Christine Gisi, Art Centre Basel.

The exhibition opens on Friday, January 29, 2010 5:30 – 7:30 with a reception hosted by the Women’s Board of the Museum of New Mexico and will run through April 18, 2010.

This exhibition has been made possible in part through the generous support of The Burnett Foundation and Thornburg Investment Management.

High resolution exhibition images may be downloaded from the Media Center at

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