PRINT Summer 2010

Ann Temkin

ONE OF THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM’S SECRETS—not exactly dirty but far from squeaky clean—is the storage dilemma resulting from the exponential growth of its collections. While this is a problem that affects all museums to some extent, of course the challenges facing an institution that actively collects the art of the present are far greater than those confronted by an institution focusing on the art of the past. Though rarely the subject of philosophical debate, storage provides a useful lens through which to examine several of the most pressing issues facing museums today. These range from the obvious—“Too much stuff!”—to far more nuanced questions revolving around how much and what to collect going forward.

A certain romance surrounds the notion of storage, and in this regard I confess to being one of the great romantics. My curatorial work at MoMA is based on a deep conviction that we

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