chapter  7
32 Pages

The MoMA as an International Role Model During the Cold War: Triumph and Opposition

When the MoMA got the leading role as the recognized omphalos of the world’s art capital, it became the focal point of everyone’s gaze and of all kinds of criticism. But this was something it accepted with pleasure: it learned ˜ȱ •’ŸŽȱ™Ž›–Š—Ž—•¢ȱ˜—ȱŽŸŽ›¢˜—ŽȂœȱ •’™œȱŠ—ǰȱŠœȱ ’‘ȱ–Š—¢ȱ™ž‹•’Œȱꐞ›Žœǰȱ ’ȱ Š•œ˜ȱŽ—“˜¢Žȱœ˜”’—ȱ‘Žȱꛎœȱ˜ȱŒ˜—›˜ŸŽ›œ¢ȱ‘Šȱœž››˜ž—Žȱ’ǯȱ‘Žȱ–žœŽž–ȱ learned to make room for the protests of artists’ collectives and print reviews,  ‘’Œ‘ȱ ’ȱ  ˜ž•ȱ —ŽŸŽ›ȱ ›ŽŒŽ’ŸŽȱ  ’‘ȱ ’—’쎛Ž—ŒŽǰȱ Š• Š¢œȱ ’—Œ•ž’—ȱ œžŒ‘ȱ critiques in its own chronicles and bibliography, and at times it would even mimic them in its advertising slogans.1ȱ‘’œȱ’œȱ‘Žȱ›ŽŠŽœȱ™›˜˜ȱ˜ȱ–Šž›’¢ȱ in an institution dedicated to something as debatable and open to question as recent art, and it is a merit that no one can deny the MoMA, independently of the judgements that may be made about its role in the middle of the twentieth ŒŽ—ž›¢ȱ’—ȱœ˜–Žȱ–ŠĴŽ›œȱ‘Šȱ‘ŠŸŽȱ›Š’œŽȱ›ŽŠȱ™˜•Ž–’Œœǯȱ˜›ȱ’—œŠ—ŒŽǰȱ Šœȱ’ȱ ahead of its time relative to the triumph of American Abstract Expressionism, or did it only extol it when it had reached international acclaim? Or was it an ’—œ›ž–Ž—ȱ˜ȱ‘Žȱȱ’—ȱ‘Žȱ’—Ž›—Š’˜—Š•ȱꐑȱŠŠ’—œȱŒ˜––ž—’œ–ȱž›’—ȱ the Cold War, or did it simply try to prevent its country from being globally ’œ˜•ŠŽȱ’—ȱ–ŠĴŽ›œȱ˜ȱŒž•ž›Š•ȱ›Ž•Š’˜—œǵȱ›ȱę—Š••¢ǰȱ’ȱ’ȱ’—›˜žŒŽȱ‘ŽȱŒ˜•ȱ and aseptic ‘white cube’ museography because its discourse had become marbled and mystifying, or because it was the best suited form for the art of that time.