Museum reopens, expands
been a season of change
at the University's David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, where
a renovation has altered the museum itself and a surprise donation
will be used to increase its holdings.
closing in April for a $2-million, eight-month renovation, the
Smart Museum reopened in November with new special exhibition
galleries; more extensive displays of its modern, contemporary,
and Asian collections; and a thematic presentation of rotating
selections from the Smart's antiquities and Old Master collections.
The museum also has new storage facilities and a new education
and study room. Chicago architect John Vinci of Vinci/Hamp Architects,
Inc., designed the renovation.
the museum opened in 1974, its collections have more than tripled,
and the scope of activities and programs has increased dramatically,"
explains Kimerly Rorschach, the museum's Dana Feitler director.
Richard and Mary L. Gray Special Exhibition Gallery debuted with
"Surrealism in America During the 1930s and 1940s: Selections
from the Penny and Elton Yasuna Collection." Organized by the
Salvador Dali Museum in Florida, the exhibition features 73 sculptures,
paintings, drawings, and photographs by Alexander Calder, Man
Ray, Mark Rothko, and 53 other artists. It remains open through
Place of the Antique in Early Modern Europe" inaugurated the Old
Master Gallery. Drawn primarily from the Smart's collection, the
exhibition includes about 65 paintings, drawings, sculptures,
decorative arts, and books that explore the Renaissance impulse
to find inspiration in the ancient past. Art history professor
Ingrid Rowland and U of C graduate students organized the exhibition,
open through February 29.
Smart Museum's collection will soon be expanding, thanks to a
$5-million bequest--the largest single donation ever made to the
museum--from Paul Kirkley, PhB'24, who died in 1993, and his wife,
Miriam Kirkley, who died this past August. The gift will establish
an endowment, with the income dedicated to acquiring more art.
gift will transform the Smart Museum," said Richard Gray, who
chairs the Smart's board. "It catapults us into the top 5 percent
of art museums nationwide in terms of acquisition endowments."
The Smart collection currently includes more than 7,500 works