MoMA Pays $31.2 Million for American Folk Art Museum Building

So how much did the MoMA pay for the Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects-designed American Folk Art Museum building? Never mind that we just told you up there in the post’s title, because we’ll say some interesting things before getting to the specifics, okay? You’ll recall last week we reported that the Folk Art decided to sell its building off and move to its smaller location elsewhere in New York after carrying a load of heavy debt caused by a number of factors, including an industry-wide lack of resources caused by the economy falling to pieces over the past couple of years, a dwindling number of visitors, and constructing and moving into a still relatively-new building, which New York‘s Jerry Saltz argued was the sole root of the museum’s financial problems. Now the NY Times is reporting that the Folk Art will receive roughly $31.2 million from the MoMA for the building. As the debt they’re carrying comes to just shy of $30 million (as of 2009), they’ll still have a couple of million left over to help pay for things like the transition to a smaller space and paying off legal bills that are likely high in a sale of this magnitude. For further reading, ArtInfo has provided this nice round-up of critics offering what they think ultimately killed the Folk Art Museum (including some funny bits about Saltz, who wound up offering a number of responses after his initial opinion about the matter caught some heat inside New York and on the critic’s Facebook page).