July 2007 Issue
The Akron Art Museum unveils its $35 million expansion, a stunning showcase for the institution's renowned collection.
A beacon to the future and a bridge to the past. The Akron Art Museum's new $35 million wing, opening July 17, embraces both worlds with a sleek design that blends seamlessly with the brick Renaissance Revival building that's been a part of the city landscape since 1899.
"It's nothing short of innovative," explains Mitchell Kahan, the museum's director and CEO, who describes its juxtaposition to the existing landmark as akin to "placing an antique gem from your grandmother in a complimentary new setting."
Designed by the Viennese architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, the 63,000-square-foot addition resembles a giant prism, with multi-paned windows catching sunlight in a dramatic kaleidoscope of changing patterns. The crowning touch: two pairs of steel cantilevered wings poised as if to take flight in the 21st anything's-possible century.
The new space will include a cafe, auditorium and gift shop, as well as more display room for the institution's 3,700-piece modern-art collection, which focuses on photography, sculpture and American impressionist painting.
For more information, call 330/376-9186 or visit www.akronartmuseum.org
Join us as Barbara Tannenbaum, the museum's director of curatorial affairs, leads an armchair tour of museum favorites.