Guggenheim Vegas Failure a Rare Stumble

Starchitect Koolhaas bears some blame for museum's woes: critic
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2008 5:54 PM CDT
The now-shuttered Guggenheim outpost in Las Vegas.   (Courtesy Guggenheim Museum)
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(Newser) – Now that the shutdown of the Guggenheim Museum's Las Vegas satellites is complete, many in the art world are faulting museum leaders in New York for not understanding the realities of the Strip. But for one LA Times critic, it's not just the Guggenheim that misread Vegas. Rem Koolhaas, the musem's designer and perhaps the world's most lauded architect, deserves some of the blame.

From libraries to Prada stores to Chinese propaganda studios, Koolhaas is a master at providing "architectural authenticity in a post-authentic age," writes Christopher Hawthorne. But he stumbled in Vegas, largely because he "kept the town's maximalist aesthetic at arm's length, rather arrogantly refusing even to aspire to the spectacle we all expected of it."