Carol Vogel gets the pros and cons on the Tate Modern’s expansion in her New York Times article that wonders at the wisdom of raising hundreds of millions of pounds in the middle of a financial catastrophe. But the Tate Modern, she notes, is a victim of its own success:
Visitors have not been kind to the building. When it opened, officials said they expected two million to two and a half million people the first year. More than five million came. Now attendance hovers around four and a half million people a year. (By way of comparison, the Museum of Modern Art in New York reports that its attendance last year was about three million, a record for the institution.) The Tate Modern’s galleries have taken a beating. Some look as though they could use fresh paint; the bathrooms are dirty; and during rush hour the cafes seem chaotic.
“I think it’s better than it was,” Mr. Serota said. “Frankly we were overwhelmed when we first opened. To go from zero to five million visitors in one year is asking a lot. And I think that Years 2 and 3 the institution was to some extent struggling with its own success. But it’s now grown to a place where it seems comfortable.”
Tate Modern Expansion Is the Cost of Success (New York Times)