“The Future of Permanence in an Age of Ephemera”

A symposium on museums

Thirty-five years ago, in the very first issue of The New Criterion, our founding editor Hilton Kramer warned against a “cultural drift that has brought some woeful consequences in its wake. It has changed the way art museums and other cultural institutions now conceive of their programs and priorities—and indeed, the very reason for their existence.”

On October 21, 2016, The New Criterion will host a symposium on museums called “The Future of Permanence in an Age of Ephemera.” Our event will seek to atomize the changes Hilton identified by considering the history of the museum, the evolution of its vocation and forms, and possible correctives to its misdirection.

It is my great pleasure to join Bruce Cole, Eric Gibson, George Knight, Michael J. Lewis, Philippe de Montebello, Karen Wilkin, Roger Kimball in this discussion. The event at the Consulate General of France, 934 Fifth Avenue, will conclude with a luncheon talk by the art conservator Marco Grassi, who will discuss “the birth of the idea” of the modern museum. 

This is an event open to the Friends and Young Friends of The New Criterion. 

Versions of the presentations will be published in the December 2016 issue of The New Criterion.