The Museum of Modern Art's expansion plan has led to a bitter row over the competing values of size and scholarship.

This article titled “Struggle for the soul of New York art as critics accuse Moma of selling out” was written by Edward Helmore, for The Observer on Saturday 26th April 2014 13.08 UTC

A long-simmering dispute between the director and trustees of New York's Museum of Modern Art and the city's artists and cultural commentators has broken out into the open, revealing a split that threatens to undermine the cohesion of the world's greatest modernist collection.

The argument focuses on a plan for expansion that includes demolishing the architecturally unusual former home of a folk art museum adjacent to Moma's headquarters on West 53rd Street. The aim is to turn it into a public space or “art bay” with a focus on “spontaneous events” and crowd-pleasing – or “enlivening and participatory” – performance art.

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