PRINT October 1970

A Master Plan

1970. IT IS BEETHOVEN’S BICENTENNIAL. This—so we are told—must be celebrated. Is the world ready for more Beethoven? Is the situation ripe for more Beethoven? Is there a real need? Everybody knows why we have more—because it is Beethoven’s bicentennial. Numbers instead of ideas for the culture of consumption.

1970. It is the Metropolitan Museum’s centennial. This—so we are told—is celebrated with the new Master Plan, served with exquisite, solemn birthday speeches, and other kinds of cultural liquor. Inebriated, one loses one’s perspective and it becomes difficult to make a clear distinction between whether the Museum is celebrating with its public or whether the Museum is celebrating itself in the Master Plan.

1970. As many as six million people come now to the Metropolitan Museum per year. Never before has a museum been confronted with this new cultural phenomenon and problem: the masses.

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