WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.- The Norton Museum of Art
today launched the public phase of the capital campaign for its new expansion designed by architecture firm Foster + Partners, under the direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster. With nearly $34 million raised, the Museum has reached more than half its goal before groundbreaking, which is planned for 2016. The campaign total includes nearly $30 million committed from the Museums Board of Trustees, including a lead gift of $5 Million from new Trustee, Bob Stiller, and his wife Christine. Seventeen gifts of $1 million or more including commitments from The Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Foundation and The William Randolph Hearst Foundation - contribute to the overall total, including generous. The Nortons expansion will dramatically improve the visitor experience, increasing gallery space by 12,000 square feet, creating new public spaces including a state-of-the-art auditorium and a 9,000-square-foot sculpture gardenall contributing to an alluring Museum campus.
The Board of Trustees has done an enormous amount of work to create the foundation for a successful campaign, both in terms of planning and fundraising, said Hope Alswang, Executive Director and CEO of the Norton Museum of Art. To have reached the halfway point in a $60 million capital campaign before launching the public phase, and more than a year before breaking ground, is a testament to the extraordinary generosity of our Trustees, and the communitys belief in the importance of this project.
Christine and I are thrilled to support the Nortons expansion, said Bob Stiller. The new plan impresses me as ground-breaking and exciting. It is an opportunity for the Museum to become an even greater presence in the community, and a vital part of the transformation of the area.
Foster + Partners expansion relocates the Museums main entrance to South Dixie Highway, a main thoroughfare on the Museums west side, and allows visitors to see through the entire east-west axis of the building. This clarifies the visitors path through the galleries, and simultaneously offers a view of the Intercostal Waterway and beyond to a new, transparent Great Hall and refurbished glass and iron courtyard doors. What was previously a parking lot at the current entrance on the Museums south side will be transformed into a sculpture garden, providing an open-air venue for Art after Dark, the Nortons weekly series Where culture and entertainment meet, and will be next to a glass colonnade, connecting the Museums interior and exterior spaces.
The doubled gallery space will maximize the Museums ability to display its renowned collection, one of the foremost in the state, with distinguished holdings in American art, Chinese art, European art, and Contemporary art and Photography. This expanded gallery space will also feature the Museums special exhibition program, which explores topics ranging from fine art to popular culture. The Norton will also add new public spaces, including an expanded education center, state-of-the-art auditorium, restaurant, and garden terrace.
This campaign is critical to the future vitality of the Norton Museum of Art, particularly as we approach the 75th anniversary of the Museum in 2016, said Harry Howell, Chair of the Nortons Board of Trustees. Foster + Partners plan pays homage to the Museums past by restoring the clarity and symmetry of the original building, but also looks to its future as a leading museum in Florida. The design responds to the changing needs of 21st-century museum audiences, and will allow us to better serve our audiences.