Appreciating the Weisman

Frank Gehry certainly got more than he bargained for with his art museum design. Ten years on, people still debate the Weisman. Whether you love it or hate it, it should be given a fair shot.

Austen Morris’s column, (“Disappointing Weisman leaves much to the imagination,” Sept. 6) proclaims that architecture need not be “boring or bound to tradition – far from it.” But later, it cites two run-of-the-mill skyscrapers as examples of Minneapolis’s “great architecture,” and “what the Weisman could have been.” Since when do art museums try to be high-rises? To compare the Weisman with the monstrosity of the IDS Tower is laughable.

Later, the column declares what model citizens we make of ourselves by “getting good grades, achieving career goals, etc.” Gehry was arguably a shining example of both these virtues. He poured his heart into the Weisman’s design. And the people who approved it for construction took a big risk – for which I applaud them.

To maintain a closed mind and say “confusion” is a central theme of the building, consider its mirror-like sheet metal surface. Perhaps the museum is simply reflecting the confusion of the people who won’t appreciate it.


Jonathan Osborne,
WCFE tech coordinator,

architecture suggests where a society is at and what a society strives to be. It is understandable that some appreciate order, purpose, meaning and goals, but does that describe human nature?

Are all of our actions purposeful and meaningful? I would suggest that today, in the 21st century, our lives are filled with chaos, confusion, and shock. Chaos is a word that not only describes a college campus, but our world. Our current state contains wars, school shootings, bombings, and assassinations.

Modern art often is in response to issues such as these. Modern art takes on an obscure form to depict the confusion of our world. The Weisman does a wonderful job of housing this art.

In response to comparing Frank Gehry’s design to that of a child, I would suggest that is a compliment. Children’s ideas are original. Children have not yet conformed to the standards of society. Though they have not been through the educational process that most find necessary, their ideas are pure and untouched by exterior influence.


Emily Johnson,
architecture