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14.4.04

Museum for Hire

A large selection of art from the Museum of Modern Art's collection is on temporary display in Berlin (Das MoMA in Berlin, until September 19). (This was first reported on Ionarts on March 16, thanks to Heather Mathews at Hem|mungen.) A new article (Das MoMA in Berlin: Friede, Freude, Warteschlange [The MoMA in Berlin: Peace, Joy, Lines], April 14) by Christiane Wolters in Der Spiegel reports that record-breaking crowds are making the MoMA show the most popular public destination in Berlin right now (I'm trying to imagine this happening in Washington: for an Impressionist show, I could see it, but for a selection of works from the Centre Pompidou?). According to the article, the line at its peak winds around the building several times, and the wait just to get in is as much as four or five hours. For safety reasons, no more than 1,000 people may be in the exhibit space at the same time, which means that around 5,000 people per day are able to see the show. Musicians have begun to set up at various points along the line, to entertain those waiting, and there is even a physical therapist who has been leading the crowds in stretching exercises to keep limber.

There is also an older article (MoMAnia in Berlin: "Verlassen Sie sich darauf, es wird voll", February 18) by Michael Kröger, which has a selection of 12 artworks in the show. The cost of bringing the art from New York to Berlin—and only to Berlin—is significant, although the exact amount has been kept from public knowledge. The Verein der Freunde der Nationalgalerie (Society of friends of the national gallery) has underwritten the budget, with the demand that the show must make enough money to pay for itself, which it looks like it will.

Isabelle de Pommereau, in an article (Libraries that loan Picassos, not Grishams, April 9) in the Christian Science Monitor, reports on the existence of artotheken, libraries that lend art works to people's homes, in Germany. Well, if you had just been reading Ionarts regularly, you would have known that two months ago (see post on February 2 and followup post on February 13). Let's keep up, people!

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