"There are certainly critical voices that doubt the building’s value. These begin with that of MoMA itself . . . While others claim the AFAM should be preserved because it’s a great Modernist building, and therefore part of the MoMA collection, rather than its campus, no one has unequivocally answered the question of why it is so. The discourse as yet remains one of opinions asserted as imperatives: I love it / I never liked it / it must be saved / tear it down." — Design Observer (Places)
David Heymann in his critical article explores the deeper issues at play in the American Folk Art Museum controversy. As he mentions, the stances taken for or against the AFAM are clear, however; too much attention has been paid to the object itself and not to reality that it sits empty as a vestigial cultural space. Whether or not the building will disappear is hardly as interesting as the discussion of why such a cultural icon was ever allowed to fail. Is architecture only as relevant as the people and things that it contains?