Thomas Krens: The Manhattan Project

Thomas Krens: The Manhattan Project


January 20, 2019

3:00 PM-4:00 PM


225 South St
Williamstown, MA 01267

The Clark welcomes Thomas Krens, chairman of the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum and Director Emeritus of Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, for a series of four talks focused on the importance of art and architecture in shaping the life of cities and changing societies. The talks highlight influential projects Krens has either led or played a major role in developing—including MASS MoCA some thirty years ago; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in the early 1990s; the Saadiyat Island Cultural District in Abu Dhabi (including the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi); the Meixi Lake Museum of Modern and Contemporary art in Changsha, Hunan Province, China; the suite of five new museums currently planned in North Adams; and the utopian “Hub for the Arts” in Saudi Arabia, a project just beginning on an island in the Red Sea.

While architecture tends to plays a central public role in these highly visible cultural development projects, Krens uses specific examples from four major projects to discuss initial motivation; the essential links to a specific political agenda targeted at improving the quality of life; the stages of the planning process; the dialogue between form and content; the importance of architecture relative to specific sites; the importance of scale and platform to discursive relevance; the complexities of implementation and cultural sustainability; and the unanticipated impacts of black swan events.

October 21: Art, Money, Oil, and Guns: The Saga of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
November 18: Bilbao
January 20: The Manhattan Project
February 10: Unfinished Business: the EMRCA and the Diseases of Despair