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Never. Gonna. Happen.

In today’s news from an alternate universe, Renzo Piano has been chosen to build the addition to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Right, right.

On the other hand, I scoffed when the MFA announced their Norman Foster-designed New Wing, and in only three and a half years, they’ve, um, wait, no, wait, yes, that’s it, they’ve raised over half the money. No, no, I know, they’ve shut a bunch of galleries and laid off some more security guards.

Ah, Boston. Well, I suppose we can’t say ‘It’ll happen after the Sox win the Series’ anymore.

Thank you,


Weird.... It's not like Isabella is still collecting art or anything; why do they need an addition? Also, it's not like that's an inexpensive museum to visit, nor tremendously popular given the lack of crowds the two times I've been.... It's lovely, but ... why change it?

The Celtics haven't won anything in a while, have they? Maybe you could try to start the curse of Larry Bird?

Actually, the ISGM has a very good exhibition program, usually taking one or two of their pieces to highlight and borrowing other works to compliment them. Also, they lately have continued to show contemporary art (though not to buy, I think) in the spirit of Mrs. Gardner's collecting.

I suspect they have also outgrown their auxilliary spaces--they need more offices and conservation space, they have only a weak gift shop, and the cafe is actually a Boston hotspot with the ladies who lunch. If I were looking for a new space, it'd be something with new gallery space on the lower floors, possibly with a new entrance to the old house so as to ease coatroom and ticketing congestion, and public/admin space as you went up.

I should probably add that I have no idea whether the Gardner needs another wing, just that I don't think they're going to get one anytime soon.

Mr. Piano, after all, is the fellow who, when Harvard asked him to look at their long-term needs and opportunitites, pointed out that the ideal solution was to rechannel the Charles through Brighton, eliminating the problem of what to do with that worthless land on the south side that nobody wanted to move to, and opening up lots of new room in Cambridge. He was quite right, of course, and Larry Summers fired him (iIrc).


Rechannel ... the ... Charles ... ? How is that the right solution? That would require an Army (Corps of Engineers)!

Naah, they have grad students for that sort of thing.


Of course you can still say ‘It’ll happen after the Sox win the Series’. You may not be able to say ‘It’ll happen *shortly* after the Sox win the Series’, but "after" by itself leaves you with a good 7 billion years to play with.

Plenty of time, even if you want to reroute the Charles onto the second floor of Tarble.

The phrase as I dimly recall it (from lo so many weeks ago) was "It'll happen when (not after) the Sox win the pennant." As we now know here in Boston, when the Sox win the World Series, nothing else happens at the same time. The world simply stops.

I suppose the phrasing did not mean precise concurrence. But it was rather eerie how quiet the world was here as the Series was happening. No fireworks, as there were to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Dunkin' Donuts mochaccino latte a little earlier. No thunder crashing down from heaven, no horsemen riding through town. Lisa's car didn't even get flipped over, though we sure did try.

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