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Museum Opens at Columbus Circle in September 2008


Designed by Brad Cloepfil, New Museum Will Feature Dynamic Spaces for Artist Residencies, Education Programs, Collection and Exhibitions

Capital Campaign for New Building Reaches $80 Million and $13 Million Added to Endowment

New York, NY (October 16, 2007)

The Museum of Arts & Design (MAD) announced today that it will open the doors to its new home at Columbus Circle, designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, in September 2008. With triple the space of its current facility, the 54,000-square-foot building allows MAD to dedicate galleries to its growing permanent collection for the first time in its history and will distinguish the institution as the only New York museum with open studio programs that allow visitors to watch the creative process within the Museum’s programming spaces.

MAD will inaugurate its new galleries with Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, a special thematic exhibition co-curated by Chief Curator David Revere McFadden and Curator Lowery Stokes Sims featuring 40 artists from around the world who repurpose and transform existing objects into works of art. The Museum will continue to present exhibitions and public programs at its current facility at West 53rd Street through spring 2008.


The Museum also announced that it has raised $80 million to date for its new building, bringing MAD within $10 million of its campaign goal. An additional $13 million has been raised to support the Museum’s endowment. These milestones have been reached thanks to Board President Nanette Laitman, who recently increased her gift to $20 million with a $10-million donation in support of the new building and endowment, as well as major contributions from Chairman of the Capital Campaign Jerome Chazen and his wife, Simona Chazen, and Board Chairman Barbara Tober. In recognition of their ongoing dedication to the Museum, MAD will name its new facility the Jerome and Simona Chazen Building; its gallery spaces the Nanette L. Laitman Galleries; and its entrance hall the Barbara Tober Grand Atrium.


“Allied Works has created a dramatic new space at Columbus Circle that allows us to realize our expanded mission and continue our leadership role of working with a wide spectrum of contemporary artists,” said Director Holly Hotchner. “The Chazen Building will display 40 percent of our permanent collection in dedicated gallery space, host on-site artist residencies, and create a groundbreaking new gallery and center for contemporary jewelry, further distinguishing MAD among museums in New York and nationally.”


In the past decade, the Museum of Arts & Design has seen tremendous growth—increasing its attendance to 310,000 visitors annually and nearly doubling its permanent collection—and has revitalized its mission to explore the craftsmanship and creative processes of contemporary artists and designers from around the world. Through its innovative programming, the Museum challenges traditional classifications and hierarchies that separate the arts according to medium, geography or chronology. With its focus on materials and processes, MAD instead places fine art, craft, decorative art and design along the same creative continuum.


Accommodating both the growing demand for its programs and expanding collection, the Chazen Building will more than double the gallery space of the Museum’s current facility, providing a total of 14,000 square feet for special exhibitions and MAD’s permanent collection. In addition, the opening of the Chazen Building will launch MAD’s new online collection database, accessible at terminals throughout the new Museum and in homes, offices, and classrooms internationally. Supported by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New York State Council on the Arts, and private funding, the online database will give visitors virtual access to the entire permanent collection, provide supplementary information on artistic techniques and materials, and link to artists’ oral histories at the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution, a joint project with MAD.


A highlight of the new Museum will be the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, the nation’s first resource center and gallery for contemporary jewelry. Located on the second floor, the center will organize and present jewelry exhibitions, include publicly accessible study storage of the Museum’s entire jewelry collection and provide additional resources on the history of jewelry design through MAD’s online database. The Tiffany Gallery will also host a robust schedule of public programs and artist residencies.


The entire sixth floor of the Chazen Building will be dedicated to education, marking the first time that MAD will have designated space for its popular education and public programming. The dynamic facility will feature classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars and workshops for students, school children, families and adults. Three open studios for ongoing artist-in-residence programs will engage visitors in the creative process of artists at work and enhance exhibition programs on the floors below. Lectures, films, performances and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft and design will be held in a renovated 150-seat auditorium on the building’s lower level.


“In our new home at Columbus Circle, we will not only be able to dramatically increase access to our distinguished permanent collection, but also enhance our education and public programming to inspire community interaction and a greater understanding of the arts,” said Barbara Tober, Chairman of the Board. “The new building allows us to greatly expand our reach to better serve our growing audiences from New York City and abroad.”


On the ground floor, the Museum Store will be expanded significantly and will offer a wide range of handcrafted, original works, both functional and decorative, and limited edition pieces created by more than 1,400 artists. The ninth floor will accommodate a new Museum restaurant, which incorporates artist-made materials and will provide visitors with panoramic views of the city and Central Park.

Capital and Endowment Campaigns

The Capital Campaign for the Museum’s new building has raised $80 million to date in support of the acquisition and redevelopment of the building at 2 Columbus Circle. Having surpassed its previous goal of $65 million, the Museum has expanded its campaign goal to $90 million to accommodate an increase in material and labor costs and a series of owner-directed enhancements. Approximately two-thirds of the funds raised for the Capital Campaign have come from individual donations, including major donations from Chairman of the Capital Campaign Jerome Chazen, Board President Nanette Laitman and Board Chairman Barbara Tober, while approximately 10 percent has been received in government funding.


“As the country’s leading institution dedicated to contemporary art, craft and design, the Museum of Arts & Design explores how today’s artists experiment with different materials and techniques in the creation of their work,” said Jerome Chazen, Chairman of the Capital Campaign. “The new expanded Museum, situated in one of Manhattan’s most significant public spaces, will further enhance the field of study and bring a wonderful new dimension to the neighborhood and city.”


Alongside the campaign for the new building, the Museum has also recently launched a $20-million endowment campaign, which will continue beyond the opening of the building in 2008. Toward that goal, Board President Nanette Laitman has given $5 million and issued an additional $4-million dollar-to-dollar matching donation. A total of $13 million has been raised to date.


“Our new building provides expanded opportunities to strengthen our public offerings and exhibition program,” said Laitman. “The endowment campaign is integral to the stability and ongoing vibrancy of this groundbreaking institution.”

Building Design

Allied Works’ design for the Museum’s new 54,000-square-foot home transforms the 10-story building at 2 Columbus Circle into a dynamic cultural center that furthers MAD’s institutional mission and engages the surrounding urban and natural environment. The design maintains the scale, height and form of the original structure—one of the few freestanding edifices in Manhattan—while dramatically opening up the once nearly windowless building to animate the Museum’s permanent collections, which thrive in natural light.


“In this pivotal location, linking Midtown Manhattan, Central Park and the Upper West Side, the new Museum will actively engage its surroundings,” said Brad Cloepfil, Principal of Allied Works Architecture. “Our goal was to maintain the building’s iconic presence while giving it new life as a contemporary cultural institution at the crossroads of the city. Our design opens the Museum to natural light and weaves the building back into the street life of the neighborhood, fostering a dialogue between the interior of the Museum and its urban environment.”


Comprised of fritted glass and glazed terra-cotta tile, the building’s new façade reflects both the Museum’s craft tradition and its permanent collections. The building’s skin will be tiled with approximately 22,000 custom-made terra-cotta plates, finished in a light iridescent glaze that subtly shifts in tone depending on time of day and perspective. A series of three separate cuts—each one a continuous 30-inch-wide ribbon fitted with transparent and fritted glass, developed in conjunction with and donated by Oldcastle Glass—will weave across the building’s tiled façade to filter light into the gallery spaces and allow for spectacular views of the city. The interplay between the glass and the glazed tiles will create an elegant geometric pattern on the façade and will give the building a dynamic sculptural quality in distinctive counterpoint to the high-rises dominating Columbus Circle.


The ribbons of glass that cut across the façade continue inside the building across the floors, ceilings, and walls of each level, creating visual connections among the galleries and providing visitors with a unified sense of space. Glass will encircle the entire ground floor, inviting a dialogue between the Museum and its surrounding neighborhood, and will stretch across the ninth floor of the building, giving visitors to the Museum’s restaurant a dramatic panorama of Columbus Circle and Central Park.


Inaugural Exhibitions

The Chazen Building provides the Museum with dynamic spaces to host an expanded program of exhibitions that will examine the craftsmanship, materials and processes of contemporary artists and designers from around the world. In its new special exhibition galleries on the fourth and fifth floors, MAD will present Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, a thematic exhibition that explores the reuse and appropriation of manufactured objects in contemporary work. The approximately 40 international artists featured in the exhibition repurpose pharmaceutical pills, dog tags, forks and spoons, plastic chairs, bottle caps, nails, paper bags, among other new and used objects, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary and stimulating debate on how value is determined in art today. All of the works on view were made in the past seven years; many are on display for the first time or have been specially commissioned for the exhibition.


Presented in the permanent collection galleries on the third floor, Uncovering the Collection marks the first time in the institution’s history that its most significant holdings will be on comprehensive view and features many never-before-seen and rarely viewed masterworks. The first in an ongoing series of thematic explorations of the collection, the exhibition encompasses approximately 250 works made in clay, glass, metal, wood and mixed media by artists such as Dale Chihuly, Jack Lenor Larson, Wendell Castle, Faith Ringgold, Roy Lichtenstein, George Segal, Cindy Sherman and Betty Woodman, among many others. Uncovering the Collection will provide the viewer with three different ways to approach contemporary art and design: through the work’s visual language or aesthetics; artistic intention; and political, social and cultural context. Videos of artists creating works and interactive wall labels featuring commentary from artists, curators, arts educators and even other Museum visitors will provide further perspective on each work.


Masterpieces from the Jewelry Collection (working title), on view in the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery on the second floor, will feature over 130 works of modern and contemporary jewelry from 1948 through the present. Organized thematically, the exhibition will explore the inspirations for contemporary jewelry, including the fine arts, the human form and the natural world. Other themes include jewelry as performance, featuring extravagant forms that are practically impossible to wear; works of unearthly beauty, which are created through avant-garde and computer technologies; and narrative jewelry, in which artists assume the role of social critic, using jewelry provocatively to express their views on subjects ranging from racism and gender to popular culture and environmental degradation. Drawing from the Museum’s collection of approximately 450 works, the entirety of which will be on view in the Tiffany Jewelry Gallery in accessible study drawers, the exhibition will include the work of seminal figures of the American Studio Jewelry Movement, such as Margaret de Patta, Sam Kramer and Art Smith, as well as international artists like Gijs Bakker, Peter Chang, Hermann Jünger, Bruno Martinazzi, Ruudt Peters and Gio Pomodoro, among many others.


About Allied Works Architecture

Founded in 1994 by Brad Cloepfil, Allied Works Architecture has recently completed and is currently working on a number of important cultural, educational and commercial projects throughout the United States, including: the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; the expansion of the Seattle Art Museum; the renovation and expansion of the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor; the design for the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas; the design of the new Clyfford Still Museum in Denver; a new building for Walt Disney Animation Studios in Glendale, California; and a new house, guest house and art barn in Dutchess County, New York, for prominent art collectors. Other critically acclaimed projects include the Wieden + Kennedy Agency headquarters in Portland, OR, which also houses the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; and the Maryhill Interpretive Overlook at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington. The redevelopment of 2 Columbus Circle is Cloepfil’s first institutional commission in New York City. Allied Works has offices in Portland, OR, and New York, NY.


About the Museum of Arts & Design

The Museum of Arts & Design is the country’s leading cultural institution dedicated to the collection and exhibition of contemporary objects created in a wide range of media, including clay, glass, wood, metal and fiber. The Museum celebrates materials and processes that are embraced by practitioners in the fields of craft, decorative arts and design. MAD’s distinguished permanent collection includes more than 2,000 objects by renowned artists and designers from around the world, representing many forms of creative expression and technical mastery.


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