$300mil for any museum NOT designed by Frank Gehry

Courtesy of FOX

This story from the WSJ’s Joe Queenang is so absurd it seems fake. An unnamed philanthropist is allegedly offering $300 million to any city in any country that “dares to hire someone other than Frank Gehry to design its gleaming new art museum.”

Don’t other architects already build museums? What about Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI or Renzo Piano’s plans for the new Whitney? Or this museum in a shopping mall in South Delhi? This post seems dumb. But slightly entertaining. Maybe I just like the word “swoopy.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I like iconoclastic, swoopy structures that look like bashed-in sardine cans as much as the next guy,” says the philanthropist, who wishes to remain nameless for fear of enraging close friends in the art world. “I like Czech dance halls that look like a 747 plowed right into the façade as much as anybody. I bow to no man in my admiration for an architect who can design an art museum that looks like a intergalactic recycling center. I just thought it would be nice to give the second-most-famous architect in the world a shot at a payday. Whoever he is. I know I’ve got his name here somewhere.”


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