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National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts to Renovate Galleries

June 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Museums & Galleries

NEW YORK, NY.- The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts today announced plans to renovate its exhibition galleries and create a new visitor center and a School studio gallery. The renovations will modernize the existing galleries, provide visitors with more meaningful and educational experiences, and institute a new, dynamic environment for student and faculty review, discussion and exhibition.

The renovated galleries will for the first time in over 100 years provide space dedicated to the semi-permanent exhibition of notable works from the Academy’s collection of over 7,000 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures by American artists and architects. Additional galleries will present rotating thematic and single artist exhibitions of works from the 19th through 21st centuries. The Academy will continue to hold its Annual and Invitational survey exhibitions following the renovations.

The renovations will take place between July 2010 and September 2011 and are funded by recent bequests from Eleanor D. Popper, a former student of the School of Fine Arts, and author Geoffrey Wagner in memory of his wife, Colleen Browning Wagner, an American realist painter and National Academician (NA). A building committee, headed by architect Bruce Fowle, NA, of FXFOWLE Architects, Vice President of the Academy, will oversee the renovations, which will be designed by the architecture firm of Bade Stageberg Cox.

While under renovation, the Museum lobby and its exhibition galleries will be closed, the Academy will continue to host the evening roundtable discussion, “The Review Panel,” and the School will maintain a full class schedule.

“Over the course of its 185-year history, the Academy has been granted custodial responsibility for approximately 7,000 works of art by artists and architects who presented them to the Academy upon becoming members,” said Carmine Branagan, Director of the Academy. “As an institution with artists and architects at its core, the Academy represents the history of American art through the lens of contemporary artists. Many of these works have not been seen by the public in decades. The Academy is eager to present informative, thought-provoking, and revelatory exhibitions of its collection in the best light possible.

“We are deeply grateful to the late Eleanor Popper and the late Geoffrey Wagner for their far-sighted generosity and contribution to our reinvestment in and re-imagining of the institution’s relationship with its remarkable collection of American art.”

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