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At Museums, Maybe It’s Time for ‘De-growth’

Nina Siegal

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New York Times


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From the article: The last quarter of a century has been a period of pronounced growth in the cultural sector, with the rumble of jackhammers creating the soundtrack to 21st-century museum life. New buildings, multimillion-dollar expansions, new wings and collection growth have all helped drive visitor numbers to unprecedented heights.
So it seemed a little counterintuitive when Beatrix Ruf, the director of the Stedelijk Museum of contemporary and modern art and design in Amsterdam, called for a forum on the possible value of “de-growth” of the 21st-century museum. [ . . . ] "De-growth” is a concept borrowed from economics. It is associated with an anticonsumerist and anticapitalist approach to sustainable development — the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “decrease in mass of an organism especially at the end of a prolonged period of growth.” . . .

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