In Monday's Guardian, a lengthy article by Steve Rose about the new MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), part of mayor Ray Mallon's desire to turn the city into a 'designer label town'.
Steve Rose on the new MIMA - Guardian website
MIMA entry - Wikipedia
The article features a lot of commentary by the MIMA architect, Erick van Egeraat, who by the sounds of it has created a good box for looking at art in - and inviting people in. My attention was attracted by this statement though:
"The gallery spaces are artificially lit, which might be a taboo in major international galleries, but is a practical consideration here, says van Egeraat, as artists can control the lighting conditions. Besides, most thefts from art galleries are through the skylights."
There's an interesting discussion on Edward Winkleman's blog at the moment about gallery lighting - the general consensus in the comments seems to be that natural lighting is best, and thus artist-run and dealer spaces often look the best, as galleries and museums are restrained by preservation policies (and use spot lights, which people seem to abhor). I was at the Govett-Brewster in the weekend, looking at the Break: Construct exhibition, and the combination of too-small lighting and expanses of grey carpet lighting absolutely killed Yvonne Todd's work, displayed on the first mezzanine floor - which was a shame, because the photos themselves are extraordinary.
Edward Winkleman's blog
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Image from the Middlesbrough Council site.