Museum of Arts and Design Launches Center for Olfactory Art, NY Times Pefume Critic Leaves to Join Staff

Thank to this release on their site, we’d known for the past couple of months that New York’s Museum of Arts and Design had an exhibit planned for next year focused on perfume-as-art, appropriately titled The Art of the Scent. Apparently, since October when this was first announced, a lot has gone on behind the scenes. Now it’s been announced that not only will the exhibition go on, but it will be the first by an entirely new wing of the museum, The Center of Olfactory Art. It’s the first of its kind in a museum setting, dedicated to treating created scents as pieces of art. What’s more, our pals over at Fishbowl NY have reported that the Art of the Scent‘s curator, Chandler Burr, has decided to step down from his position as the NY Times‘s perfume critic to join the new Center full time (the Wall Street Journal reports, however, that he plans to stay on in the same role at GQ). An interesting move for the MAD and one we’re eager to…um, smell. Here’s a bit more from the WSJ:

“What I intend to do is strip away the marketing, PR and commercial presentation of what are stupendous works of art — but are not yet understood as such,” said Burr.

For this and other exhibitions, Burr anticipates using machines that allow a museum attendee to press a button and have a fragrance — reformulated for this use — dispersed into the air. “You get the real scent, but then it disperses quickly,” he said, adding that proper ventilation would be installed.