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quarta-feira, abril 27, 2005

Museum Visionary

But Mr. Krens, 58, whose reputation as a motorcycle-mad, globe-trotting visionary unconcerned about costs has made him the talk of the art world, doesn't seem much changed since that three-hour meeting in January. Asked where his priorities are now - home or abroad - he said, "Both."

The key to his business plan is hiring big-name architects to design buildings that will become tourist destinations in themselves, like the Guggenheim's Frank Lloyd Wright building on Fifth Avenue or its Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. And though the museum's new leaders express caution about the budget, they share Mr. Krens's vision.

At a cocktail party last week at the Four Seasons restaurant to celebrate the museum's new chairman, William L. Mack, a real estate developer, and its first female president, Jennifer Stockman, Ms. Stockman talked of "bringing art and culture to cities around the world."

"We are at a pivotal juncture to make a great institution even greater," Ms. Stockman said.

Mr. Mack, the founder of Apollo Real Estate Advisers and chairman of the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, a real estate investment trust, stressed that he had created a more active board whose priorities were "budgetary responsibility, building the endowment and promoting education."

Still, he emphasized that the Guggenheim was and always would be an international presence: "It is an international museum whose home is in New York."
Slowly, the museum has been making its way back, partly through the success of its satellites, which also include a Guggenheim in Berlin.

Mr. Krens said he was constantly approached by cities wanting to share in the so-called Bilbao effect. Besides Guadalajara - to be designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, the Mexican architect Enrique Norten or Asymptote Architects in SoHo - and Singapore, other outposts under consideration include one in Rio de Janeiro, also designed by Mr. Nouvel; a Hong Kong museum that would be part of a larger development designed by Lord Norman Foster; and a collaboration with the Hermitage in St. Petersburg on an extension of the Hermitage with a Guggenheim component.

There are financial advantages to opening Guggenheims around the world. Cities that approach the Guggenheim about building a museum can expect to spend $150 million to $200 million, including land and construction, Anthony Calnek, a Guggenheim spokesman, said. The cost depends on the location of the museum and its size and complexity. The host city or country would also be expected to set aside funds every year to buy art; Bilbao, for example, spends $10 million annually on acquisitions and must subsidize operating deficits and pay a licensing fee. The Guggenheim Foundation also works with partners in buying and commissioning art. In Berlin, Deutsche Bank has commissioned works by artists like James Rosenquist, Jeff Koons and Gerhard Richter, which the bank owns 50-50 with the Guggenheim. Museum officials say that they hope that the Guggenheim Bilbao will buy back Deutsche Bank's share.

The New York Times > Arts > Art & Design > A Museum Visionary Envisions More


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