The Sam Fox Arts Center at Washington University in St. Louis will break ground for two new buildings — an art museum and a School of Art studio facility — April 14, 2004, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton announced today.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, the new buildings will be integrated with three existing facilities to form a comprehensive, five-building arts complex at the southeastern end of Washington University’s Hilltop Campus.
Internationally acclaimed artist Frank Stella will present a keynote address during a public groundbreaking ceremony at 4 p.m. April 14. The event also will feature remarks by Maki. For more information, call (314) 935-9347.
“This will truly be a great day for Washington University, and one that we have long anticipated,” Wrighton said. “That it has finally arrived is testament to the excitement the Sam Fox Arts Center has sparked in St. Louis, and to the generosity of arts supporters at all levels.”
Earl E. and Myrtle E. Walker Hall, dedicated in honor of St. Louis philanthropists Earl E. and Myrtle E. Walker, will be located immediately north of the School of Art’s historic, Beaux Arts-era Bixby Hall. The three-story, approximately 38,000 gross-square-foot building will house graduate art studios; ceramics, sculpture, painting and metalworking studios; and the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Studio for the Illustrated Book. Moreover, it will allow programs currently housed at satellite facilities in Clayton and University City to return to the Hilltop Campus for the first time in more than 40 years.
The 65,000 gross-square-foot Museum Building, located immediately adjacent to Walker Hall, will include permanent and temporary exhibition spaces as well as offices and state-of-the-art storage areas for the university’s Gallery of Art. The facility also will house a gallery for use by faculty and students; offices and classrooms for the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Science; and the 13,000-square-foot Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg Information Center.
In addition, a $2 million gift from Eric P. and Evelyn Newman will create a state-of-the art, 3,000 square-foot numismatic museum on the Museum Building’s ground floor. The Newman Money Museum will house exhibitions and audiovisual displays relating to the history of coins and currency; a numismatics library; a full-time curator’s office; and workspace for visiting scholars. In addition, researchers will have access to the Newman family’s renowned private collection, one of the nation’s strongest in the areas of early American and Colonial-era coins and paper notes.
Construction of Walker Hall and the Museum Building — which follow extensive, recently completed renovations to Bixby Hall and Givens Hall (the latter home to the School of Architecture) — will begin immediately following Commencement in May 2004 and is scheduled to last 18 to 24 months. New facilities will open in Spring 2006, after which Steinberg Hall, current home to the Gallery of Art, art history department and Art & Architecture Library, will be renovated as additional studio space for art and architecture.
Total budget for renovations and new construction is approximately $56.8 million. The university has thus far accumulated resources totaling $46.8 million in gifts and commitments as well as in allocations. This leaves $10 million to be raised.
In October, the Sam Fox Arts Center met a $1 million challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. In order to earn the grant, which will support construction of the Art Museum, the University had to raise $5.8 million for the project by Oct. 9, 2003 – twelve months after the awarding of the challenge.
Additional support for the Sam Fox Arts Center includes a $10 million gift from prominent St. Louis civic and philanthropic leader Sam Fox; and major commitments from Linda and Harvey Saligman; Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg; and the children of Florence Steinberg and Richard K. Weil.
“Thanks to these and other wonderful gifts, Washington University will soon have a world-class arts facility and an architectural landmark for the entire St. Louis region,” Wrighton said. “We are truly grateful to all who have supported the Sam Fox Arts Center.”