Muskegon Museum of Art to break ground on $11.2M expansion with spotlight on art by women

ByMary E. Alvarez

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MUSKEGON — The Muskegon Museum of Art has been given an substantial portray selection by girls artists and additional than $11 million in cash donations to launch an growth that will much more than double the sizing of the museum.

The 150 art items ended up painted by women in the figurative realist design and style and had been donated to the Muskegon Museum of Art by San Antonio-dependent artwork collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt. 

Bennett and Schmidt’s $10 milion art selection, which also arrived with a $1.5 million funds donation, will placement the museum to sign up for the handful of museums in the environment with dedicated areas for displaying work by women artists. 

Only 11 % of art acquired by the country’s prime museums for long term collections was developed by gals in the earlier 10 years, in accordance to a 2019 study accomplished by artwork current market web page ArtNet. 

The donations are a “once-in-a-life span present,” reported Muskegon Museum of Artwork Government Director Kirk Hallman. 

“In the context of an enlargement challenge, it is all the additional redefining,” Hallman explained in a statement. “This gifted artwork adds an completely new dimension and stability to our previously remarkable collection. In addition, the Bennett-Schmidt gift is a get in touch with to action institutionally, encouraging equally the Muskegon Museum of Artwork and other museums to regularly increase alternatives for females artists.”

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Saturday for the museum’s $11.2 million enlargement project. Officers hope to comprehensive the enlargement by 2024. The 26,000-square-foot addition will include 3 new rotating galleries, two school rooms, a rooftop terrace, museum store, connecting and aid space, and a general public plaza. 

The growth will permit the museum, which opened in 1912 and homes additional than 5,000 pieces of art, to show extra of its artwork at a person time.

“With today’s big structural expansion and new artwork, the Muskegon Museum of Art will proceed attracting tourists from across the state and uplifting the nearby economic climate,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a assertion. “For 110 many years, the museum has been an anchor of this community, and I am happy that it will continue being a cultural place for many years to arrive. I am primarily proud that the expansion will make and devote area for ladies artists. Assignments like this are assisting us improve our economy and create lively communities where individuals want to dwell, do the job, and enjoy.”

Donated paintings include function by a lot more than 115 artists, together with Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Cassatt, Agnes Martin, Elaine de Kooning, Harmonia Rosales, Julie Bell, Andrea Kowch, Katie O’Hagan, and dozens of some others representing present-day and historic women figurative realist painters.

In addition to Bennett and Schmidt’s $1.5 million, monetary donations consist of $1 million from the Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Basis $1 million from the metropolis of Muskegon $500,000 each individual from Carol R. Folkert and family, the Hilt Foundation, the Patrick O’Leary Foundation, Brad and Kathleen Playford, Condition Corp., and Mrs. Shaw Walker as properly as 250 supplemental presents totaling $11.1 million to day.

The enlargement task was made by Boston-dependent Ann Beha Architects with guidance from Grand Rapids-dependent Mathison | Mathison Architects. Grand Rapids-primarily based Design Simplified serves as the basic contractor.

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