The Sam Fox Arts Center will break ground for two new buildings — an art museum and a School of Art studio facility — April 14, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton announced Dec. 10.
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 the Hilltop Campus.
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Internationally acclaimed artist Frank Stella will present a keynote address during the public groundbreaking ceremony at 4 p.m. The event will also feature remarks by Maki.
“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 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 Gallery of Art.
The facility will also house a gallery for use by faculty and students; offices and classrooms for the Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences; and the 13,000-square-foot Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg Information Center.
In addition, a $2 million gift from Eric P. and Evelyn E. 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 and is scheduled to last 18 months 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.
The 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.
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 one year to raise $5.8 million for the project.
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.”
For more information on the groundbreaking, call 935-9347.