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More Mortar: Updates on Yesterday’s Museum Building Story

Rendering of addition to Crocker Art Museum, on right

Yesterday’s CultureGrrl post, giving the other side of the story, as a corrective to Robin Pogrebin‘s gloomy NY Times piece on cultural institutions’ building projects, has generated lots of comment. As I expected, other museums have been chiming in (via e-mail) with updates on their own full-steam-ahead expansion projects:

—The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, will open, next October, a new 125,000-square-foot building designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates.

—The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, is building a new 145,000-square-foot facility designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates, also opening next October.

—The North Carolina Museum of Art, will open in April a new 127,000-square-foot facility designed by Thomas Phifer.

—Although they didn’t e-mail me, I should probably mention that the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will open in May a 165,000-square-foot expansion designed by Rick Mather.

—The Associated Press reports [via] that Michigan State University will break ground in March for its Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid, to open in early

We can only hope that all these museums have socked away enough money for operating endowment as well as capital costs.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has caught up with Nicolai Ouroussoff‘s NY Times scoop on the proposed addition to the Hirshhorn Museum. We now learn that the inflatable structure is not, as I had speculated, a robin’s egg in its nest.

Jacqueline Trescott
quotes the Hirshhorn’s director, Richard Koshalek:

It is a metaphor for ‘”Sleeping Muse”
by Constantin Brancusi. You know, you are not a
distinguished institution unless you have a dome, like the U.S.
Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial, St. Peter’s in Rome.

A sleeping dome?

Brancusi, “Sleeping Muse I,” 1909-10, Hirshhorn Museum


Image: Diller Scofidio+Renfro

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