T&L 100: Must-See Museums | 2000
Our pick of the best trips for the new century
"Riding a GPS-equipped bus in Barcelona," says Maxwell L. Anderson, director of New York's Whitney Museum of American Art, "I got a hilarious glimpse of the future. If a bus driver needs a satellite to tell him where he is, there really are no limits on how programmed we'll become." Anderson sees a high-tech Baedeker, especially for art hounds, on the horizon. "Soon our Palm Pilots will nudge us like homing devices toward preferred artworks in foreign capitals." Until that day dawns, here's where to find the freshly restored, the next Matthew Barney, or the newest art house.
(70) You don't have to visit Russia to see the Matisses that ended up in Soviet hands after World War II. This fall the Hermitage will open a permanent exhibition space in London's Somerset House (another sister museum will be set up in Amsterdam in 2005). (71) Also in London, the new Tate Modern takes over a power station redesigned by the Swiss team of Herzog and de Meuron, across the river from its old home (soon to be devoted solely to the rarefied pleasures of British art). The restaurant, on the top floor, has a view of St. Paul's.
(72) Japanese architect Arata Isozaki's modern loggia for Florence's 16th-century Uffizi gallery may signal the start of a new Renaissance, while (73) in Rome the much-discussed Church for the Third Millennium, by American Richard Meier, promises its own blessings. (74) By way of miracles, in Assisi, four of the 14th-century frescoes in the Basilica of St. Francis that were badly damaged by the earthquake in 1997 have been restored to their original power; those by Giotto and Cimabue are still in pieces, and will take a few more years.
Back home, museums seem to have traded places with artworks.(75) New York's venerable MOMA is getting a face-lift courtesy of Yoshio Taniguchi, which means not just more square footage by 2004, but a whole new profile for the city's grande dame of 20th-century art. Meanwhile, in true pioneer spirit, the most radical buildings are stretching from cornfield to cornfield across America's heartland. (76) Cincinnati hasn't been this hip since WKRP: Iraqi-born architectural diva Zaha Hadid unveils her Contemporary Arts Center in the fall of 2001. (77) In Milwaukee (forget Laverne & Shirley) the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, best known for his designs for airports and planetariums, updates fiftiesModernism with an extension to Eero Saarinen's art museum. (78) Chicago's future looms extra-large, as Rem Koolhaas adds a campus center to Mies van der Rohe's Illinois Institute of Technology. "Modern" hasn't looked this new since the first time around. --Matthew Debord
The Arts | Architecture
Our pick of the best trips for the new century
The glass dome atop the Reichstag overlooks Berlin's new skyline.
(79) Berlin Reunited . . . and it looks so good
Soaring over Berlin's history-drenched cityscape, Sir Norman Foster's high-tech glass dome crowns his redesign of the Reichstag, once Germany's imperial legislature, now its federal parliament. Outside, surfaces gleam, but inside, traces of a less-than-pristine past remain--check out the graffiti in the grand corridors, courtesy of the Red Army, which stormed Hitler's Berlin in 1945.
With buildings going up every few weeks, Germany's capital has a brand-new image: soon the world's largest construction site will give way to the world's best architectural theme park. The Reichstag may be Berlin's official face, but the city's new look ranges from the buttoned-up corporate façade of the Grand Hyatt to Helmut Jahn's swirl-topped Sony Center on the reborn Potsdamer Platz. Twenty minutes away, architecture titan Frank Gehry is getting fiscally minded near the Brandenburg Gate with an unusually restrained stone-clad design for DG Bank, while across the rebuilt Pariser Platz, Gallic darling Christian de Portzamparc's sleek French Embassy steals the show.
In Berlin, history rarely fades to black. The Wall may be gone, but signs of division remain. One big question: Will the Communist-era eyesore, the East German Palace of the Republic, be replaced with a replica of the now-vanished Prussian royal palace?If not, there's always Karl Friedrich Schinkel's majestic Altes Museum a few blocks away. And, sure, they've found the bunker, but the real key to Hitler's Berlin will be Peter Zumthor's new museum for the Topography of Terror foundation, on the site of the Gestapo's former offices. As Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum continues to draw huge crowds (even empty), construction on Peter Eisenman's Holocaust memorial is scheduled to begin this month, but the debate about the place of the past in this city's present still isn't over. Stay tuned.--Michael Z. Wise