October 1st marks a transformative moment for The Mint Museum
. The debut of the new Mint Museum Uptown one year prior to the institutions 75th anniversary will bring together the Mint Museum of Art and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design under one roof, double the permanent collection on view, and hone the institutions ability to attract and organize major traveling exhibitions.
The debt-free completion of the Mint Museum Uptown and the Levine Center for the Arts during a time of economic upheaval is a testament to Charlottes unwavering commitment to the arts and its long tradition of philanthropy, said Executive Director Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson. The scope of this ambitious cultural project is going to transform the way Charlotte lives and catapult the Mint to national and international significance.
Building and Collections: Designed by noted architectural firm Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the Mint Museum Uptown is the final attraction to open in the Levine Center for the Arts, located in the heart of Charlottes business district. In addition to the Mint, this development includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Theater, along with corporate and retail facilities.
The 145,000-square-foot, five-story Mint Museum Uptown includes two full floors of galleries, each featuring 12,000 square feet of permanent collection space and 6,000 square feet of changing exhibition space. A dramatic multi-story atrium, named for the late Robert Haywood Morrison in honor of his foundations generous gift to the Museum, will serve as a central hub of activity and features a 60- by 60-foot glass curtain wall offering spectacular views of the urban landscape. The building also includes a café, the Lewis Family Gallery, painting and ceramics studios, classrooms, a 240-seat auditorium, a Special Events Pavilion with outdoor terrace, and an expanded street-level Museum Shop featuring crafts of the Carolinas and showcasing merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions. These amenities and special features will provide venues for hosting public programs that reinforce the Museums commitment to making art and education inspiring and accessible to the entire community.
Expanding The Mint Museum was one of the top priorities laid out in a master Cultural Facilities Plan developed by the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County in 2003. The Mint Museum Uptown will house the internationally-renowned Mint Museum of Craft + Design, as well as American and contemporary art and select works from the European art collection.
Following the opening of the Mint Museum Uptown, the Mint Museum Randolph, located in the historic Eastover neighborhood, will reinstall its galleries dedicated to the art of the ancient Americas, decorative arts, and historic costume, among others.
The opening of the new facility marks a pivotal chapter in the Mints history and in Charlottes continued emergence as a cultural destination. The cultural facilities campaign to create the Levine Center for the Arts and facilitate other uptown cultural improvements met its $83 million goal.
New Programs: The Lewis Family Gallery at the Mint Museum Uptown will serve as a family-friendly introduction to the museum, offering a variety of engaging hands-on activities and opportunities for imaginative play. The Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium and James B. Duke Auditorium will offer such new programs as the Get Reel film/live jazz series. Two studio classrooms will expand the number of painting, drawing, mixed media, and clay classes offered for teachers, children, teens, and adults. In addition to these spaces, there will be small classrooms on the two gallery levels for hands-on activities with tour groups.
Newly-Commissioned Artwork: Under an initiative titled Project Ten Ten Ten, four international craft and design artists have been invited to create works for the Mint Museum of Craft + Design: Danny Lane (United States), Ted Noten (The Netherlands), Joseph Walsh (Ireland), and Hildur Bjarnadǿttir (Iceland). Six additional works of art will soon be commissioned from Tom Joyce, Cristina Córdova (both United States), Tetsunori Kawana (Japan), Kate Malone (Great Britain), Susan Point (Canada), and Ayala Serfaty (Israel). Project Ten Ten Ten will catapult the Mint Museum of Craft + Design to the highest level of artistic excellence through this extraordinary site-specific work.
The Mint Museum of Art has commissioned American artist Ken Aptekar to create a new interpretation of its 18th-century Portrait of Queen Charlotte to hang in the Mint Museum Uptown. The artist references historic works, imbuing them with contemporary meaning and inviting new dialogue. Titled Charlottes Charlotte, Aptekars painting reinterprets the Mints coronation portrait. Based largely on community input, the artist has created six panels which examine the British Queens diverse interests, vulnerability as a young woman, and African ancestry.