So what does this attraction toward the grand narrative tell us about our time, if anything? “I think,” says Debenedetti, “we are more at peace with our dialogue with the past, and we are now exploring what it means to be in a multicultural world, where everything can be compared to everything. There is no cultural niche anymore.” When I asked the same question of The Met’s Kelly Baum, she reflected back on an issue of the arts journal October from 2009. “Hal Foster penned a letter to the editor,” she says, “which consisted of a series of questions that he sent out to curators and academics in the field: Why have curators and academics been so squeamish about writing the big history of contemporary art? Why have they been so squeamish about theorizing a grand narrative for contemporary art? Why have they been so shy about thinking about contemporary art outside of its own limited historical parameters?” Curators, it seems, are now taking on this challenge and reflecting the perspectives of a 21st-century audience, one ready to grapple with the bigger picture of global art history, the Big Art History that defines our present.