Grand Opening of the Currier Museum of Art New Hampshire Icon Offers New Galleries in Dramatic Addition

The long awaited reopening of the Currier Museum of Art will take place on Sunday, March 30, 2008 after almost two years of expansion. The reinstalled galleries and breathtaking new public spaces will be unveiled free to the public during the first week, March 30 - April 5 (excluding Tuesday when the museum is closed), with special events throughout the week. For a full schedule of special events visit http://www.currier.org/reopening.

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Manchester, NH (PRWEB) March 28, 2008

The long awaited reopening of the Currier Museum of Art will take place on Sunday, March 30, 2008 after almost two years of expansion. The reinstalled galleries and breathtaking new public spaces will be unveiled free to the public during the first week, March 30 - April 5 (excluding Tuesday when the museum is closed), with special events throughout the week. For a full schedule of special events visit http://www.currier.org/reopening.

The 33,000 square-foot addition, designed by Ann Beha Architects of Boston, brings the museum's footprint to nearly 90,000 square feet. The modern structure takes its cues from the original 1929 building and pavilions added in 1982. Inside, the Currier's $21.4 million expansion offers new galleries that will display 50% more of the museum's collections. One gallery will be dedicated to showcasing a variety of New Hampshire and New England artists. A more spacious second gallery will enable the museum to host larger national exhibitions.

A dramatic new reception space will bridge the original 1929 building and the new galleries. The Winter Garden, spacious and sky-lit, will be host to special events, informal community programs and the museum's new café. On the lower level there is a 180-seat auditorium for films, lectures, concerts, and programs as well as two classrooms that will allow the museum to double the number of school tours it offers. A grand north entrance with an expanded museum shop also provides amenities like first floor restrooms, a coat room and lockers.

Visitors arriving at the new Currier will find two works of art 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.

As visitors enter the museum, they will be greeted by a gallery dedicated to glass, ceramics and the museum's vast paperweight collection, on display in its majority for the first time. The entire second floor will be devoted to 18th- and 19th-century American art. These galleries will feature paintings by Hudson River School artists like Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey, 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 others. The Currier's decorative arts collection is noted for its range of 18th- and 19th-century New Hampshire furniture, as well as glass, pewter and silver.

The collection of European art has been reinstalled in a newly designed gallery. The museum's 16th-century Franco-Flemish tapestry The Visit of the Gypsies, c 1510, will be displayed with key works from the late Middle Ages to Impressionism. The gallery contains notable works by Joos van Cleve, Jacob van Ruisdael, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, John Constable and Claude Monet. Newly acquired paintings by early 17th-century Dutch artists Balthasaar van der Ast and Hendrick Goltzius are also on view.

The remaining five first-floor galleries offer up twentieth-century and contemporary art. The Currier's modernist paintings and sculptures - works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Rouault, as well as Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Gaston Lachaise, and Charles Sheeler - are the focus of one gallery. Several new acquisitions, including works by Marisol Escobar, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Longo, now hang with abstract work by Adolph Gottlieb, Joan Mitchell, Theodore Roszak, Michael Mazur, and realist paintings by Neil Welliver, Tom Blackwell and Jane Freilicher. One new gallery also features work by important regional artists, including ceramics by Ed and Mary Scheier and Otto and Vivika Heino, enamels by Karl Drerup, as well as prints and paintings by John Hatch, Peter Milton, and James Aponovich, and photographs by Carl Auston Hyatt and Shelburne Thurber.

ABA's design is already being hailed as a new landmark in a city that has been reborn in the last decade. Manchester, a city of about 100,00 people, has a working class history being once a major milling center. Today the city, like the Currier, is reinventing itself with a revitalized mill district, new restaurants, and new cultural venues - but the city's working ethic remains, giving it a varied perspective of American life.

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. For more information, visit http://www.currier.org or call 603-669-6144, ext. 108.

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