Pocket sized proposals for a mammoth project, from visionaries from across the arts spectrum.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cenotaph for Newton by Étienne-Louis Boullée

There are two ionic visions of museum that are readily conjured.   The first is marble Beaux-Arts tomb for art.

Étienne-Louis Boullée and Claude Nicolas Ledoux  were product of a  Beaux -Arts education,  but rather than dwell in the ornate and decorative formal aspects  they turned their attention and efforts towards more visionary and utopian ideas.  

Both are warrant looking at in relationship to the IMTA, as does their predecessor Giovanni Battista Piranesi.


  1. these are great images, especially the bottom one.


  2. Thank you josh for the images and their history.

  3. i have always loved this. a contemporary version might be the rose center for earth & space (?): http://blog.aia.org/mt-static/plugins/Ajaxify/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/imagemanager/images/favorite_architecture_images/33_rose_center_lg.jpg

  4. The "beaux-arts" art museum model appears to be an evolution of the natural history museum / cabinets of wonder coupled with the salon style of aristocratic palaces. I am thinking of museums like the Louvre, Hermitage and Met. These museums operate more like giant libraries or repositories than platforms for the deployment or operation of art.

    What I find so interesting about the Cenotaph is that in spite of it's beaux arts historical context the interior of this building is more than a hollow vessel. It has a specific operation that goes beyond the cenotaph building label. Is it possible for a museum to be more than empty vessel?