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The Saint Louis Art Museum has opened its Sir David Chipperfield - designed East Building.
Saint Louis Art Museum Unveils Contemporary East Building
Innovative coffered ceilings made of light concrete and scrimmed skylights provide abundant but controlled natural light.
The more than 200,000-square-foot East Building presents a contemporary counterpart to the neo-classical 1904 building.
The enew main exhibition galleries feature Postwar German Art in the Collection.
Andy Goldsworthy's Stone Sea features 25 10-foot stone arches that symbolically bridge the past and future of the Museum.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), August 23, 2013 - The Saint Louis Art Museum has opened its Sir David Chipperfield-designed East Building.
The expansion project has enabled the renovation and reinstallation of the iconic 1904 building, designed by Cass Gilbert. More than 1,450 works of art have been reinstalled in 68 galleries; approximately one-third of these works have not been on view for at least 20 years.
Among the reinstalled galleries are new installations of Native American and Ancient American Art, African Art, Korean Art, Islamic Art, and a sequence of galleries for European painting and sculpture spanning from the Renaissance to the mid-20th century.
Recently awarded LEED Gold status by the U.S. Green Building Council, Chipperfield's design for the more than 200,000-square-foot East Building presents a contemporary counterpart to the Museum's neo-classical 1904 building. The design organically links the two buildings, and a new Grand Stair provides a seamless transition between the main and the lower-level galleries and visitor amenities. Museum visitors may use the fully accessible new entrance to the East Building or the existing Sculpture Hall entrance to the Main Building where the original floor plan has been restored as part of the expansion project.
The façade of the East Building features floor-to-ceiling windows and 23 monumental panels of dark polished concrete, with highlights of Missouri river aggregates. Inside the galleries, innovative coffered ceilings made of light concrete and scrimmed skylights provide abundant but controlled natural light, and wide-plank white oak floors and stainless steel floor vents provide a distraction-free setting for the works of art.
In the East Building, the inaugural installation in the new main exhibition galleries features Postwar German Art in the Collection, an extensive re-examination of a major aspect of the Museum's holdings, curated by Tricia Y. Paik, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art.
The exhibition address themes and groupings such as the legacy of Joseph Beuys; the large-scale works of Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Anselm Kiefer; and the influence of the Düsseldorf School of Photography. Drawing from the Museum's impressive strengths in painting, sculpture, drawings and photography, these galleries feature works by artists including Georg Baselitz, Jörg Immendorff, Martin Kippenberger, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky and Candida Höfer.
The collection galleries in the East Building feature an installation exploring developments in postwar American art, curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, and Paik. The installation includes works from the Museum's collection by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Anne Truitt, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and Richard Serra, as well as more recent work by Kiki Smith, Kerry James Marshall, Leonardo Drew, Teresita Fernandez, and Julie Mehretu.
Andy Goldsworthy's Stone Sea, commissioned by the Museum, features 25 10-foot stone arches, each weighing approximately 13 tons, which were sourced from the Earthworks Quarry in Perryville, Missouri. Arranged in a dense composition in a lower-level courtyard between the East Main Buildings, the new work evokes the texture and movement of the ancient shallow seas that once covered the Midwest.
The landscape design by Michel Desvigne features the installation of outdoor sculptures by such artists as Alexander Calder, Henry Moore and George Rickey; as well as new plantings - including approximately 300 trees.
Also in the new East Building, the Panorama Restaurant offers full-service dining in an elegant setting with sweeping views of the more than 1,300-acre Forest Park. The 2,500-square-foot restaurant provides seating for 100 patrons and a private dining room for up to 40 guests.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the leading art museums with more than 100 galleries. The building was designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair in Forest Park. Standing atop Art Hill, it is the "crown" jewel" of the 1,370-acre park. The Grand Basin is the lake at the foot of Art Hill and served as the focal point of the 1904 World's Fair.
Crusader King Louis IX in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum
The Museum's collections feature more than 30,000 art treasures from ancient times to the present. Highlights include art of the Renaissance, masterpieces of Impressionism, American European Art, Asian art, Period Rooms, the Egyptian mummy, and world-renowned collections of pre-Columbian and German Expressionist art.
The Museum provided $10 million for improvements to Art Hill and nearby areas including: reconstruction of Fine Arts Drive in the front of the Museum between the front stairway and the statue of St. Louis; the street and the area around the landmark statue is now paved with granite; construction of two curved, tree-lined walkways, or promenades, extending about 250 yards in each direction from the statue of St. Louis to the existing circular parking areas; construction of scenic overlooks near the expanded circular parking areas; landscaping of the two promenades and of the entire area with ornamental trees and decorative lighting; and new parking adjacent to the scenic overlooks.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Friday, 10:00 am-9:00 pm; Closed Monday. For more information, call 314-721-0072. Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum is free. Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday.
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