The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts is a seductively self-contained private museum set in an urban wasteland. Established by Emily Rauh Pulitzer, who came to St. Louis in 1964 as a curator, its 2001 building was designed by the Japanese Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando.

Charged by his client to eschew curatorial conventions, Ando's is not an easy environment in which to set exhibitions. Long expanses of glass in galleries cause some to be too bright for fragile paper; interiors feel oversized-or intensely intimate. Visitors enter the Main Gallery and turn so as to look toward Ellsworth Kelly's eye-catching Blue Black, permanently positioned at the opposite end. This painting is made even more pronounced by a line of daylight falling from above, yet in designing exhibitions, curators often isolate it, as it is generally unrelated to what they are showing....

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