Building the Future

Posted by Kemper Art Museum April 20, 2018

 

MUSEUM CLOSED MAY 22, 2018, TO FALL 2019 FOR MAJOR EXPANSION

This summer, after years of planning and preparation, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis will commence a major expansion designed to increase exhibition programs and to showcase a larger portion of the Museum’s renowned permanent collection.

Led by architecture firm KieranTimberlake, the expansion comes as part of Washington University’s larger East End Transformation. The Museum will reopen to the public in fall 2019, when the East End Transformation is scheduled to be completed.

On Friday, May 4, the Museum will mark the start of construction with a special “Building the Future” celebration. The event, which coincides with the opening of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art’s 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition, will be the last opening reception before the Museum closes to the public May 22.

LOOKING AHEAD: HOW WILL THE MUSEUM BE DIFFERENT? 

Dramatic Exterior 
A highlight of the Museum expansion will be a new facade composed of 34-foot-tall pleated stainless steel panels. Reflecting the surrounding landscape, the striking surface will act as a beacon for visitors from both the University and beyond. 

Improved Accessibility 
The Museum’s entrance will be a short walk from the University’s underground parking garage and the Gary M. Sumers Welcome Center, and a drop-off area will make access even more convenient.

Newly Designed Sculpture Garden 
The Museum’s iconic outdoor sculptures will be relocated to the Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden, designed by Michael Vergason Landscape Architects and situated just north of the Sam Fox School’s Anabeth and John Weil Hall. 

Expanded Galleries 
The James M. Kemper Gallery will be a state-of-the-art 2,700-square-foot exhibition space, allowing the Museum to showcase a larger portion of its world-class collection.

Enhanced Visitor Experience
Visitors will be able to relax and enjoy refreshments in a new Café alongside the expanded Museum Shop. The new light-filled lobby will also host an array of programs, including lectures, panel discussions, and performances.

View Museum expansion fact sheet >>

WHAT’S STILL AVAILABLE WHILE THE MUSEUM IS CLOSED?

While the galleries are closed, the Museum will host a variety of off-site programs. Students, faculty, and visiting scholars will have continued access, by appointment, to the Museum Study Room. Beginning in fall 2018, a selection of artworks from the permanent collection will be on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum

Museum staff will remain busy preparing for the next chapter in the institution’s history: researching and organizing the expanded display of the permanent collection, planning future exhibitions, and developing a new collection database and Museum website.

The Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library, located on the Museum’s lower level, will remain open. 

Visit campusnext.wustl.edu for additional details about the plan to transform the east end of the Danforth Campus and project updates.

News Stories

"Monumental Undertaking" Under Way, May 13, 2017 >>

Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of university’s east end transformation project, May 11, 2017 >>

Designs Shared for East End of Danforth Campus, October 11, 2016 >>

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum to Expand, October 10, 2016 >>

Transforming the East End of the Danforth Campus, Jessica Martin, October 5, 2015 >>

Architect Named for Weil Hall, Sam Fox School, April 13, 2015 >>

KieranTimberlake

KieranTimberlake is the architecture firm for both Anabeth and John Weil Hall and the Kemper Art Museum expansion. The Philadelphia-based firm has designed many significant higher education projects; among them are the Sculpture Building and School of Art Gallery at Yale University (2007), winner of an AIA Top Ten Green award, and the Brockman Hall for Physics at Rice University (2011), winner of the 2015 AIA Institute Honor Award. A strong research practice within the firm allows for an innovative approach to reducing the environmental impact of its projects. For more information, visit the firm's website.

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