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Ann Beha Architects to design The New Britain Museum of American Art expansion
The Museum’s Thomas Hart Benton murals will be reinstalled in the new galleries. Photo: Peter Vanderwarker.

BOSTON, MASS.- The New Britain Museum of American Art, the nation’s first Museum dedicated to the collection, exhibition and preservation of American art, has commissioned Ann Beha Architects to design a major building expansion.

The addition will extend the ABA-designed Chase Family Building that the firm completed in 2006, winner of the American Institute of Architects’ New England Design Award and recipient of much public acclaim.

The expansion site, which faces Walnut Hill Park, an 1869 landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, will add three levels of galleries, education studios and program areas, greatly expanding access. Todd Stitzer, the Chairman of the Board of the Museum, commented “Under the leadership of Director Douglas Hyland, our collection, our exhibitions, our membership and our education programs have grown and continue to grow at an extremely rapid pace. The proposed addition and increase in our endowment will enable the Museum to better serve our vibrant and diverse community.”

A $4M grant approved in June by the Connecticut State Bond Commission will be matched by private sources, with construction slated for summer, 2014. Director Douglas Hyland who led the institution through its past campaign and transformation, commented, “We are thrilled to again be working with Ann Beha and her outstanding team. We look forward to a seamless and beautifully designed addition that will be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors for years to come.”

The New Britain Museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is renowned for its pre-eminent collection spanning three centuries of American art. Core artistic programming consists of the display of the permanent collection and upwards of 25 special exhibitions per year—traditional to contemporary—and programming for all ages, interests, and abilities.

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