The Museum of Arts and Design's new home
On September 27, 2008, The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will open the doors to its new home at Columbus Circle. With triple the space of its previous facility, the 54,000-square-foot building allows MAD to dedicate galleries to its growing permanent collection for the first time in its history and will distinguish the institution as the only New York museum with open studio programs that allow visitors to watch the creative process within programming spaces. With a new textured façade of glazed terracotta tile and fritted and clear glass, the Chazen Building will be a dynamic cultural center that brings together the museum experience and the street life of the surrounding neighborhood in one of Manhattan’s most significant public spaces. Ribbons of glass weave across the building’s exterior, allowing light to filter into galleries and providing dramatic views of Columbus Circle and Central Park. Inside, these ribbons continue across gallery floors and ceilings to create visual connections between the exhibition spaces on different levels. MAD will inaugurate its new galleries with Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, a special thematic exhibition showcasing 51 artists from around the world who repurpose and transform mass-produced objects into extraordinary works of art. The new Museum will also feature the permanent installation of a site-specific stained-glass commission by Judith Schaechter.
“Allied Works has created a dramatic new space in which we can fully realize our expanded mission to explore the craftsmanship and creative processes of contemporary artists and designers,” said Director Holly Hotchner. “Our new home allows us to continue our leadership role of working with contemporary artists through an expanded program that includes open studios and artists residencies, further distinguishing MAD among museums in New York and nationally.”
In support of the project, MAD has raised $84 million toward capital and an additional $13 million towards endowment. In the past decade, the Museum has seen tremendous growth—increasing its attendance to 310,000 visitors annually and nearly doubling its permanent collection. Accommodating both the growing demand for its programs and expanding collection, the Chazen Building more than doubles the gallery space of the Museum’s previous facility, providing a total of 14,000 square feet for special and permanent collection exhibitions across four gallery floors. Supported by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New York State Council on the Arts, and private funding, the database will provide virtual access to the entire permanent collection, offer supplementary information on artistic techniques and materials, and link to artists’ oral histories at the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution, a joint project with MAD.
A cornerstone of the new Museum will be the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, the nation’s first resource center and gallery for contemporary jewelry. Located on the second floor, the center will organize and present jewelry exhibitions, include publicly accessible study storage of the Museum’s entire jewelry collection and provide additional resources on the history of jewelry design through MAD’s online database.
The entire sixth floor of the Chazen Building will be dedicated to education, marking the first time that MAD will have designated space for its education and public programming. Three open studios for ongoing artist-in-residence programs will engage visitors in the creative process of artists at work and enhance exhibition programs on the floors below. “In our new home at Columbus Circle, we will not only be able to dramatically increase access to our distinguished permanent collection, but also enhance our education and public programming to inspire community interaction and a greater understanding of the arts,” said Barbara Tober, Chairman of the Board. “The new building allows us to greatly expand our reach to better serve our growing audiences from New York City and abroad.”
On the ground floor, the Museum Store will be expanded significantly and will offer a wide range of handcrafted, original works, both functional and decorative, and limited edition pieces created by more than 1,400 artists. The ninth floor will accommodate a new Museum restaurant, which incorporates artist-made materials and will provide visitors with panoramic views of the City and Central Park.
On view in the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery on the second floor, Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry will feature over 130 works of modern and contemporary jewelry from 1948 through the present. Drawing from the Museum’s collection of approximately 450 works, the entirety of which will be on view in the Tiffany Jewelry Gallery in accessible study drawers.
The Museum of Arts and Design is the country’s leading cultural institution dedicated to the collection and exhibition of contemporary objects created in a wide range of media, including clay, glass, wood, metal and fiber. The Museum celebrates materials and processes that are embraced by practitioners in the fields of craft, decorative arts and design. MAD’s distinguished permanent collection includes more than 2,000 objects by renowned artists and designers from around the world, representing many forms of creative expression and technical mastery.
MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN • 40 WEST 53RD STREET • NEW YORK, NY • 10019 •212.956.3535