Currier Museum of Art Announces Grand Reopening

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After $21.4 million expansion, Museum to Reopen March 30, 2008

After four years of planning and 20 months of construction, the Grand Reopening of the expanded Currier Museum of Art will begin Sunday, March 30, 2008 with a public celebration, announces Susan Strickler, Director. The entire first week will be open free to the public (excluding Tuesday when the museum is closed) with special events throughout the week.

The 33,000 square-foot addition, which increases the museum's footprint to nearly 90,000 square feet, was designed by Ann Beha Architects (ABA) of Boston. ABA is well known for its work with cultural institutions, including regional museums. It has completed major architectural projects for the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut, and the Kalamazoo Art Institute in Michigan.

The Currier's $21.4 million expansion helps the museum better serve members and visitors by providing:

  •     New galleries to display 50% more of the world-class art collections and allow more room for special exhibitions
  •     Two new classrooms to support education programs and school tours
  •     180-seat auditorium
  •     A dramatic, sky lit Winter Garden for special events and informal community programs and a spacious café.
  •     A grand north entrance with an expanded museum shop, accessible first floor restrooms and seating areas
  •     A new outdoor court

When the museum doors reopen in March, all galleries will be installed with works from the Currier's own extensive American and European collections. As visitors enter the museum, they will be greeted by a gallery dedicated to glass, ceramics and decorative objects. The entire second floor will be devoted to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American art. These five galleries will feature significant paintings by Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey, Asher B. Durand, Albert Bierstadt, and Martin Johnson Heade; still-life compositions by John Francis, Severin Roesen, and William M. Harnett; sculpture by Thomas Ball, Randolph Rogers, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens; and Impressionist canvases by Childe Hassam, Edmund Tarbell, and William Metcalf, among many others. The Currier's decorative arts collection is noted for its impressive holdings of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century New Hampshire furniture, as well as glass, pewter and silver.

The small, but highly select, collection of European art, dating from the late Middle Ages to Impressionism, will now be located in the Henry Melville Fuller gallery on the first floor. The European collection contains notable works by Joos van Cleve, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan de Bray, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, John Constable and Claude Monet.

The remaining five first-floor galleries will be devoted to twentieth-century and contemporary art. The Currier's strong collection of modernist painting and sculpture - with major works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault, as well as Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, and Charles Sheeler - will be the focus of one gallery. Several new acquisitions, including works by Marisol Escobar, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Longo, will complement Abstract Expressionist work by Adolph Gottlieb, Joan Mitchell, Theodore Roszak and realist paintings by Neil Welliver, Tom Blackwell and Jane Freilicher. One new gallery will also feature work by important regional artists, including ceramics by Gerry Williams, Ed and Mary Scheier, Otto and Vivika Heino as well as prints and paintings by John Hatch, Peter Milton and James Aponovich.

Visitors arriving at the Currier will encounter two works that were selected specifically for the new building. Upon arrival, they will be greeted by Origins, a 35-foot high sculpture by Mark di Suvero that stands as the centerpiece to the outdoor court. Inside the Winter Garden visitors will see a striking wall drawing commissioned by the Currier from Sol LeWitt to reflect the mosaics from the original 1929 building.

About the Currier
The Currier Museum of Art (http://www.currier.org) in Manchester, NH is home to an internationally respected collection of European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture. New galleries showcase the collection of over 11,000 objects, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, O'Keeffe, and Warhol. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the engaging traveling exhibitions, a series of dynamic programs ranging from music to lectures to hands-on art-making, an expanded gift shop and an airy new café filled with light and equipped with wifi.

The associated Art Center offers studio classes, art camps and intensive workshops for all ages. The museum also owns the Zimmerman House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, complete with the original furnishings and the owners' fine art collection. The Zimmerman House is the only Wright-designed house in New England open for public tours which are offered March - December. To book a tour or get more information, visit http://www.currier.org or call 603-669-6144, ext. 108.

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Karen Tebbenhoff
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