- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - This summer, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present an exhibition focusing not on the world’s great art but on its own future.

“Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art” will be on view from July 1 to Sept. 1 in the museum’s Dorrance Galleries.

It will include large-scale models, architectural drawings, photographs and videos related to the project, which will add 78,000 square feet of new gallery space.

Museum director Timothy Rub told The Philadelphia Inquirer (https://bit.ly/1jL5rxZ ) that initial renovations and demolition could cost $150 million to $160 million and take five years.

Officials say minimal changes are planned for the building’s exterior but many significant changes will be made to the interior, including entrance renovations and a new auditorium.

The first phase consists of extensive interior renovations - the first in the history of the 86-year-old museum - including demolition of the auditorium added after the museum opened in 1928 and opening up of the interior. If fundraising goes well, the phase will also include construction of new gallery and public spaces on the ground floor, followed by construction of the museum’s first education center.

The second phase is to include creation of below-terrace galleries, an oculus built into a redesigned fountain, new skylights and construction of a new 299-seat auditorium.

Constance H. Williams, board chair, said trustees are thrilled with the plan.

“It aligns totally with our strategic plan of opening up the museum,” she said. “It deals with aging infrastructure, and the conclusion of the board is we need to open it all up.”

Williams said the “modular” plan is intended to have sections that fit together but can be launched as money to pay for them is raised.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, https://www.inquirer.com



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