ARTnews Executive ditor Robin Cembalest is an award-winning investigative reporter who has published articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and El Pais, in addition to many other newspapers and magazines in the United States and Europe.
Question: Now that Thomas Krens is stepping down, what direction will the Guggenheim take?
Robin Cembalest: I am not sure what direction they are going to head, but I think that what we are going to see is that there has been really a very large influence of time sequence on the museum world in general and that doesn’t answer your question, because by the time that comes out, frankly they could have to hired someone and it won’t really make any sense, but I will say that there were things that - for example branding, when he came from El school organization of management and he was talking about branding and everyone said “Ah, this is completely inappropriate for the World Fine Arts Museums,” now they all talk about branding. For example, the start the legacy of this idea of architect is a little mix and in fact after this success of the Bilbao Guggenheim, there were plans for all kinds of other Guggenheim in Austria, Rio, in Mexico, in Taiwan all of them attached to just architects and none of them happened.
Question: Why did that happen?
Robin Cembalest: Because all of these projects again are combinations of finance, diplomacy, politics, local government they are very hard to get off the ground and in the end place like Bilbao where there is a provincial government which really had a lot of money that was a very special case. In some place like Rio where there is not that kind of money, because the stranded of living in Brazil is very different than the strand of living in Northern Spain, it’s much harder to get something like that off the ground.