On June 20, 2009, the Cleveland Museum of Art
(CMA) will open the first of three new wings designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, marking a major milestone in the museums renovation and expansion project. The 139,200-square-foot East Wing connects CMAs original 1916 Beaux-Arts building, designed by Hubbell and Benes, and the 1971 addition by Marcel Breuer, and creates new spaces for the presentation and conservation of one of the nations leading encyclopedic collections. Viñolys design for the addition unites two historically significant buildings, physically and aesthetically, with a third, new structure that contributes to the greater architectural whole of the museum.
CMAs renowned collections of 19th century European sculpture, painting, and decorative arts, modern and contemporary art, and photography will return to public view for the first time since the museum closed its galleries in 2005. The phased renovation and expansion of the facility will, when it is completed in 2012, add an additional 200,000 square feet, including two more wings and a soaring glass-enclosed atrium at the center of the new complex that will serve as an inspiring civic space for the benefit of the entire community.
Last year, the museum celebrated the culmination of the first phase of this project with the reopening of its historic 1916 building and announced it had raised $204.5 million towards a $350 million campaign goal. Nineteen renovated galleries opened with nearly 900 works from the permanent collection, including world renowned treasures such as Turners The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October, 1834, and Frederic Churchs Twilight in the Wilderness.
The new East Wing serves, visually as well as metaphorically, as a powerful link between past and present. More significantly, it clearly demonstrates our resolve to prepare the museum to serve the community as effectively in the future as it has done for nearly a century, said director Timothy Rub. With this opening, the artful play between our architectural treasures, new and old, comes into focus. Viñoly has produced a superb design that connects to, and grows out of, the integrity and character of both our original building and Marcel Breuers addition, which is a masterpiece of mid-century modernism. In doing so, he is helping us to construct an elegant new whole.
The expanded facility will include CMAs two fully renovated architectural landmarks, the 1916 Beaux-Arts building and Breuers 1971 addition with its distinctive façade of alternating light and dark grey granite stripes. Viñolys two new striped marble and granite wings on the east and west sides of the complexeach ending in a dramatic glass-box gallerywill offer panoramic views of the museums park setting as well as views into the museum galleries and conservation studios. The wings will provide additional gallery space for the presentation of the permanent collection, as well as a dynamic special exhibitions program. A third new 39,000-square-foot structure will form the north side of a large courtyard with a glass canopy crowning an atrium at the center of the complex.
Components of the project include:
The renovation of two architecturally significant buildingsthe museums original building, designed by Hubbell and Benes and opened to the public in 1916, and the 1971 Center for Arts and Education designed by Marcel Breuer.
The addition of 200,000 square feet to the facility, including three new wings.
The creation of dramatic, 39,000-square-foot glass-enclosed atrium that will unite the entire museum complex and serve as the visual and spatial heart of the museum.
The creation of a new Lifelong Learning Center that brings the museums collection to life in innovative and exciting ways through interactive, hands-on activities for museum visitors of all ages.
Improved visitor amenities, including parking with covered access to the museum, a spacious new café and restaurant, and an expanded museum store.
Enhanced facilities for storage and study of the collection.
New state-of-the-art conservation studios.
New offices and workrooms.
Additional space to house the Ingalls Library and a new, light-filled reading room and reference area.
Visitors will enter through the Breuer building which reopened after extensive renovations in late 2006. Now named the Center for Arts and Education, this building has been rededicated to the service of the museums renowned educational programs. For the first time, all of CMAs education and library resources have been consolidated into a single building. The re-designed museum complex greatly enhances access to art, education facilities, and performing arts events. Visitors will be able to move easily from the Breuer building into the new atrium and the 1916 building just beyond. Connections to the East and West wings will be available on the first and second floors.
The founding vision of the Cleveland Museum of Art was to create a beautiful setting for what would become one of this countrys great encyclopedic art collections, and to make this experience accessible to everyone, free of charge. Over time, as its collection grew and educational programs expanded, the museum evolved into a mosaic of buildings and the clarity of the original architecture was lost. Additions were completed in 1958, 1971, and 1983. The original Beaux-Arts building, widely acknowledged as one of the finest museum designs of the early 20th century, became peripheral and navigation through the galleries became increasingly challenging Many parts of the complex were in need of extensive renovations. The capital project currently underway will transform the museums physical layout and infrastructure and significantly improve both the visitor experience and the storage and presentation of the collection.
Collections, Exhibitions, and Education at CMA
The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection. The new East Wing galleries will feature collection highlights such as:
Romaine Lacaux, Pierre Auguste Renoir (French, 1841 - 1919), 1864
Heroic Head of Pierre de Wiessant, One of the Burghers of Calais, Auguste Rodin (French 1840 - 1917), 1886
The Large Plane Trees, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 - 1890), 1889
The Call, Paul Gauguin (French, 1848 - 1903), 1902
La Vie, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881 - 1973), 1903
Mount Sainte-Victoire, Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 - 1906), c. 1904
Table, Tea Set and Salver, Carlo Bugatti (Italian, 1856 - 1940), executed by A. A. Hebrard (French, 1866 - 1937), c. 1907
Water Lilies, Claude Monet (French, 1840 - 1926), c.1915-1926
Morning Glory with Black, Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887 - 1986), 1926
Interior with an Etruscan Vase, Henri Matisse (French, 1869 - 1954), 1940
Celebration, Lee Krasner (American, 1908 - 1984), 1960
Marilyn x 100, Andy Warhol (American, 1928 - 1987), 1962
Lots Wife, Anselm Kiefer (German, b. 1945), 1989
Alien Huddle, Martin Puryear (American, b. 1941), 1993-1995
Upcoming exhibitions in the East Wings Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall include Art and Power in the Central African Savanna, (March 1 May 31, 2009), an exploration of the religious and political power of 60 sculptures created by artists in four Central African cultures, and Becoming Gauguin: The Volpini Suite, 1889 (October 4, 2009 January 17, 2010), the first exhibition to focus on 1889 as a critical juncture in Gauguins artistic development.
In 2010, CMAs collections of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and early Christian art will return to public view and in 2012 the new galleries housing Asian, Islamic, African, Native North American, medieval, and Renaissance art, textiles, and manuscripts will reopen.
The museums education initiatives began even before the original building opened in 1916, and have remained central to the institutions mission. CMA has pioneered an innovative distance learning program, bringing live, interactive lectures on art history and the museums collection to schools and communities nationwide through the application of videoconferencing and green screen technology. Studio classes for adults and children, classes, and gallery and lecture talks, are also available throughout the year.
Rafael Viñolys 45 years of architectural practice in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia have been driven by the belief that the essential responsibility of architecture is to elevate the public realm. As in his much-publicized proposal for the World Trade Center site, his deepest focus has been on maximizing the opportunity for civic investment generated by every project.
In 1983, Viñoly founded Rafael Viñoly Architects PC, a New York-based firm that has grown to encompass affiliate offices in London and Los Angeles. Viñoly has completed many critically acclaimed civic, private, and institutional projects including the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the Brooklyn Childrens Museum, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, all of which resulted in iconic civic gathering spaces in their respective communities.