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Friday, Jan 18, 2002


"Coming at the end of a dismal year for the United States in general and for its largest city in particular, the opening of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's American Folk Art Museum in New York was a thoroughly uplifting event. The reasons for these good tidings stand quite apart from the timely re-affirmation of American culture at its best. Since the terrorist attacks, the worsening economy and the sharp drop in travel have precipitated a disastrous decline in museum revenues, especially in New York, where several institutions have recently sacked workers and canceled exhibitions. The hardest hit has been the over-reaching Guggenheim, and it is safe to say that Thomas Krens's grandiose scheme for a Frank Gehry building in lower Manhattan, an enterprise dependent on a great deal of municipal funding that now must be allocated elsewhere, is a titanium-armored dinosaur doomed to extinction."