The year 2018 will bring major changes to the Crow Collection of Asian Art
as the museum undergoes a multi-million-dollar expansion including a new gallery, reimagined Lotus Shop, interactive street-side art studio and Center for Contemplative Leadership.
In addition to this expansion, the Crow Collection is taking the next step into the future as a museum transitioning more fully into the publics trust. Upon completion of the construction in October, the nonprofit organization will launch its next chapter as the Crow Museum of Asian Art, a name that reflects not only the breadth of the collection and programming but also the museums wide and diverse community support.
After years of thoughtful planning and development, construction is now underway as the museum dramatically expands its footprint along the southwest corner of Harwood and Flora Streets in the Dallas Arts District. Oglesby Greene Architects of Dallas, which handled earlier renovations of the museum, has been tapped for the expansion project. The Beck Group is the general contractor.
The plan is to complete the museum with spaces that fulfill the visionary spirit of co-founders Margaret and Trammell Crow and support our work to create the Crow Collection as Dallas Asian art museum one that is accessible, relevant and for the community, said Amy Lewis Hofland, executive director of the Crow Collection of Asian Art.
Hofland explains that recently acquired space will be transformed into a new downstairs gallery that will connect the existing upper galleries via a beautiful wood-and-glass staircase and new elevator.
Adjacent to this new gallery, the Lotus Shop will mark its return to the main building with a new expanded vision of incorporating joy and compassion into the guest experience. The museums exquisitely curated spot for Asian-inspired gifts and collectibles will also feature a pedestrian-friendly street entrance along Flora Street.
The décor of the new additions inspired by the 2014 renovations to the lobby and lower level features premium wood paneling, illuminated wood-slatted ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors as well as an emphasis on increasing transparency and interaction with pedestrian traffic.
The expansion continues with the creation of the Pearl Art Studio, situated across Olive Street on the north side of the Belo Pavilion. This street-level space, replete with oversized windows, is envisioned as a place to experience and experiment. Workshops, classes and art-making opportunities will be available to families, corporate teams, individuals, school groups and artists.
Our public programs will be designed with the intention that this museum is one without walls because art-making like art-seeing and learning changes our perceptions of how we see ourselves and others in the world, added Hofland.
New way-finding signage will be installed to help guide visitors to the studio.
Completion of the construction phase is expected by fall 2018, and, upon its reopening, the museum will formally change its name to the Crow Museum of Asian Art. During the construction phase, Gallery I and the Samurai Gallery on the Lower Level will remain open.
Additionally, the Crow Collection will formally launch the Center for Contemplative Leadership with programming focused around The Charter for Compassion. Coupled with mindfulness-based art education programming in the museum, this initiative promotes increased awareness, productivity, and compassion for self and others through classes and workshops that explore mindfulness.
I hear people talk about the increase in anxiety in our world. The Crow Collection can be the antidote to this feeling, offering more mindfulness and compassion in our daily lives, said Hofland We know from the visitors that seek out and engage with us at the Crow Collection that we are a much-needed haven, a quiet place offering room to breathe and room to think two key aspects to healthier, more peaceful living.
As part of this new construction phase, Hofland also shared plans for the Crow Collection to become financially independent from its founding family. In 1998, the Crow Family opened the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art as a permanent museum in an effort to share the love that Mr. and Mrs. Crow had for Asian art and culture with the general public. During the past 20 years, their son, Trammell S. Crow, and family members have provided millions of dollars in generous support to the museum, from funding the endowment and covering annual operating expenses necessary to sustain the vision, to underwriting innovative programming and exhibitions, to providing an affordable 60-year lease for the facility.
A few years ago, I contemplated as to what is the most compassionate act I can offer the Crow family. And the answer is to create a flourishing museum that is sustained beyond them, which gives Trammell an opportunity to shift his focus from the museum to a place we all need for him to be working to create a future path for a healthier, sustainable earth, said Hofland. We made a commitment that over the next 10 years, the museum will partner with the community and replace the Crow Familys annual contribution.
In addition to the private family foundation, Hofland reports that strong progress has been made toward that promise with leadership raising over $2 million during the last two years from the community. She adds that the board of trustees has also been expanded with the addition of four members representing the diverse Asian populations living in North Texas.