University of Michigan Museum of Art Reopens

The UMMA reopened this Tuesday, celebrating the addition of an extension building by inviting all of the university’s students to a huge party with food and live music. The opening was a grand success in my view; I’ve never seen these many people in a museum before.

I really liked the museum’s interior, which does a very good job of combining the gallery spaces of the new and old buildings. The exterior, however, looks unfortunate. I don’t understand this trend of juxtaposing classic architecture with brash, boxy shapes for the sake of modernism.

The most entertaining collection on display was the rather meta “Museums in the 21st Century” exhibit, showcasing drawings, posters and scale models of new and newly renovated museums from around the world. Since I’m a big fan of architecture, this was a nice treat. One of the pieces I was impressed by was the MAXXI National Centre of Contemporary Arts by Zaha Hadid, which integrates modern, urban lines into a conventional setting. It reminded me a lot of the Tokyo subway maps for some reason.