Letter: Give the Aspen Art Museum a chance

I appreciated reading the letter of praise for the museum by Emilie Trice (“Praise for the Aspen Art Museum,” Sept. 24, The Aspen Times).

She is looking at the museum from the point of view of a thoughtful Aspenite interested in art as an expression of human value and inspiration. These are the people — young and old — for whom museums are built.

We are blessed to have angels here who have the means and the devotion to accomplish such a feat. To their great credit, they partnered with a superb manager and a gifted internationally acclaimed architect to create a unique structure. To no one’s surprise, some people find it jarring.

I would invite these people (they include valued friends) to stand a few short minutes across the street, look at the facade and imagine in their mind’s eye that building one story lower. I think they would conclude that the loss of one floor would diminish its presence and so its importance and become ordinary. Of course, it also would lack a lot of the space it needs to fulfill its purpose. And then please look at the sidewalk in front of the facade: the gardens, grasses, bushes, flowers and picnic tables and benches. Replace them again in your mind’s eye with cars. Useful perhaps, but not compatible with the building behind or its message.

Now I will stick my neck out and make a prediction: In five years time, few will remember the loud controversy (not even the turtles) and most Aspenites and visitors will look at their museum with pride and pleasure.

Curt Strand

Snowmass Village

Letter to the Editor