DEVELOPMENT TENDENCIES OF EUROPEAN MUSEUMS AT THE THRESHOLD OF THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY EXAMPLES FROM AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND, LONDON AND BERLIN (Tendencje w projektowaniu budowli muzealnych u progu 21 wieku.... Rozwoj i kryzys)
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For more than twenty years museums in Europe as well as in the U.S.A., Mexico and Japan have been going through a period of extraordinary development. This boom was foreseeable and almost planned in the optimistic prognoses made more than forty years ago and dealing with ways of spending leisure time, which was envisaged as constantly growing in the course of economic progress. At the same time, collections, especially those of art museums, also increased. Already since the 1980s every town in Western Europe harboured the ambition of possessing a significant museum. Germany, Austria and The Netherlands witnessed the development of a new form of art 'halls' (Kunsthalle, Kunsthal) and art 'houses' (Kunsthaus) . The largest number of modern art museums is to be encountered in Switzerland, followed by Austria, Denmark, Greece, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy and Belgium. Programmes of constructing modern art museums seemed to have bypassed Poland. The author discusses ensembles of museums and culture centres which in their capacity as important sites in city plans affect the attractiveness of the whole region: MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Louvre-Tuileries in Paris, the National Gallery in London, Schaumainkai in Frankfurt, the Berlin Museum Island and the Tiergarten Prussian Culture Centre, also in Berlin. The article considers examples of the coexistence of libraries and museums in the form of so-called mediateques which have been developing for the past few years, such as the one in Nimes. While discusssing the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin and the Sammlung Essl in Klosterneuburg, the author delved into tendencies towards ensuring maximum comfort for the visitors, discernible in the designs and realisations of art museums. The Tate Modern in London and Kunsthaus in Graz serve as examples of the so-called ennoblement of the worse bank, i. e. enhancing the attractiveness of a given region by situating within it an important museum. Unfortunately, the period of successes enjoyed by art museums in Europe passed over Poland, whose situation could have been improved by widely applied 'functional conversions', in other words, the use of post-industrial buildings for museum purposes. The construction of the SiIesian Museum or the Art Museum in Lodz would have been much more realistic if use had been made of historical factory halls, which are slowly turning into ruins.
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