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Art museums with reasons to return


Courtesy St. Louis Art Museum

St. Louis Art Museum

St. Louis
On June 29, the St. Louis Art Museum celebrated the grand opening of its new East Building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“The whole reason for this expansion was to put more art on view,” said Matt Hathoway, press officer. “We also took this opportunity to reinstall the 70 galleries in the iconic, neoclassical 1904 main building that was built for the 1904 World’s Fair.

“If you liked what he had before, now there is more of it. And consistent with our mission to offer art for free to all, there is still no charge to enter.”

The museum’s encyclopedic collection spans art history and crosses the continents, highlighting works from antiquities to modernity.

The East Building houses contemporary art created after 1945 and offers 21 new galleries for the collection and temporary exhibitions. The inaugural exhibitions will feature 230 works from the permanent collection, 55 of which have not been on view for 20 years. Art buffs will recognize many of the artists represented, among them Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.

“The installations illustrate our strengths in postwar German art and showcase developments in postwar American art,” said Hathoway.

The architect, David Chipperfield, is renowned for his ability to utilize natural light, according to Hathoway.

“Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights that provide controlled but indeed natural light, visitors are treated to the ideal way to view art.”

Groups will also enjoy the museum’s new cafe, the 2,500-square-foot Panorama restaurant, named after its sweeping views of Forest Park.

Kimbell Art Museum
Fort Worth, Texas
The Kimbell Art Museum is nearly as famous for its architecture as it is for its art.

“It’s a Louis Kahn masterpiece and one of the most extreme ever built,” said Eric Lee, director. “And we don’t use those words frivolously.”

In November, a second building designed by Italian architect Piano will open and provide space for special exhibitions.

“This addition, an expression of simplicity and lightness and surrounded by elms and red oaks, is going to allow us to do what we’ve always done, but even better.

“While our permanent collection is small in size, all is consistently high in quality. We have the only Michelangelo in America, and other artists include Picasso, Matisse, Monet and Goya. These extraordinary works are displayed in an extraordinary building.”

The Kimbell’s collection will regularly be on view in the Kahn building; the Piano building will feature not only temporary exhibitions but the museum’s pre-Columbian African and Asian art as well.

Lee added that the nearly four-acre campus features 320 new trees and offers visitors a natural transformation from the outside world to the interior of the renowned buildings, as well as a place for recreation and repose.