Art Market Fuels Boom in Private Museums

Contemporary collectors keep architects busy designing special exhibition spaces
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Mar 18, 2007 10:13 PM CDT

(Newser) – Contemporary art collectors, no longer content to hang the Julian Schnabel over the sofa, are commissioning celebrity architects to design special exhibition spaces, complete with soaring ceilings, professional lighting, and temperature controls. With the art market booming, so is the market for private museums, worrying some observers that important works will remain out of the public view.

Hiring architects known for their museum designs—Richard Gluckman, Rene Gonzalez, Richard Meier, and Michael Matzan—art  patrons say they are simply indulging their passion and displaying works that might go unappreciated at a large, public museum. But curators eyeing the work hope owners will eventually donate the works—if not the house built for them—for public enjoyment.