WAVEFRONT Issue Summer 1992


	WAVEFRONT is saddened by the closure of the New York Museum of
Holography. In response to our queries for information concerning this
unfortunate development, the following statements were made available to
us. The New York Times had published a brief news item "Museum of
Holography in SoHo Closes" which quoted the museum's curator, Sydney
Dinsmore as stating 'We were not able to raise enough money for our
general operations and programs." Unfortunately, while pressing matters
such as preservation of Museum archives and files are paramount at the
moment, a full description of the events leading up to the closure is
unavailable. However, Ms. Dinsmore did offer the following statements:

	"As this announcement goes to press, the future has not yet been
decided. The MOH continues to exist in name and a steering committee is
being organized to begin to rebuild and restructure (the Museum).,.It
should come as no surprise to people who know the Museum--fewer and fewer
funds have been available in recent years to sponsor the many activities
the Museum endeavored to present to the public. Debts increased, and by
the turn of 1992, it became increasingly apparent that the MOH was in
serious trouble. The closure of the MOH represents a huge blow to the
medium, the community it helped to foster and the public who supported
holography by their interest. Perhaps this is the beginning of something
new rather than the end."

	by Steven Benton

	Sunday, March 1,1992, was the last day of operation of the Museum of
Holography at its long- time address, 11 Mercer Street, New York City.
The Museum was ordered to vacate the building due to disputes concerning
overdue rent with the building's new owner, but the collection has been
carefully indexed, packaged, and put into environmentally- protected
storage. The staff will shrink drastically while a reorganization is
planned, and only a few exhibitions will be mounted at small sites
around the city. The Museum has been financially stressed for several
years, but was approaching stable operation thanks to the Herculean
efforts of its Executive Director, Martha Tomko, and several of its
Trustees. No lease had been issued by the new owners, who bought the
building about a year ago and to whom the back rent was owed. They chose
to pursue eviction rather than reach a settlement, in spite of appeals
by several state and city officials, which precipitated this rather
sudden change in the Museum's fortunes.

	The Museum of Holography, founded by Jody Burns and Posy Jackson,
opened to the public on December 9, 1976, and provided the world's first
permanent venue for the exhibition of holograms, collection of its
artifacts, and education about its principles and applications. Although
originally emphasizing the promotion of holography as an art medium, the
Museum came to embrace the scientific, industrial, and commercial
aspects of the medium as its programs developed. The Museum's space
expanded to include two floors, including the Dennis Gabor Laboratory
for Holography and a teaching space for school programs. It also
published a newsletter, Holosphere. Unlike many New York cultural
institutions, the Museum was primarily supported by admissions income,
as holography had not reached the mainstream stature necessary for major
arts foundation funding. The Board of Trustees is hopeful that the
Museum will eventually reopen in a new location, but there are obviously
a host of problems to solve in the meantime.

S.A. Benton Chairman, Working Group Executive Committee