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“Alfred H. Barr Jr., the Modern’s visionary founding director, drew a well-known outline of Modern art movements and famously likened the museum’s collection to a torpedo moving through time. The implication was that the collection’s involvement with the present is broad, but its back end is increasingly narrow, as superfluous, minor art falls away. But art is not so amenable to outlining, and art movements are really messy, edgeless things that should only become more so with age. Maybe it is time for a new, less militant metaphor. One possibility is a perpetually expanding umbrella, where everything — a historical moment, a museum’s reach and our consciousness — only increases.”

Roberta Smith (NY Times article)

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