20 AUGUST 2000

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Art Museum to close, remodel in buildup to Calatrava opening - The Business Journal

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From the The Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2000/08/21/focus1.html

Art Museum to close, remodel in buildup to Calatrava opening The Business Journal - by Kevin Orland Date: Sunday, August 20, 2000, 11:00pm CDT The Milwaukee Art Museum will close on Jan. 1, 2001, to undergo a $2.3 million remodeling of its existing galleries, so it can look its best for the new guests visiting the Santiago Calatrava expansion when it opens in May 2001. The museum plans to tell its 11,000 members about the five-month closing through its news bulletin and personal letters in late August. During the closing, the museum plans to offer a variety of free educational programs and pre-opening events to members. "When art museums have these big expansions, they also usually look to their existing galleries so they can present themselves in the best light possible," says Christopher Goldsmith, executive director of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Goldsmith said that most art museums do extensive interior renovations every 15 to 25 years and that it has been 25 years since the Milwaukee museum's last renovation. The museum will reopen to the public on May 4 after construction is completed on the 125,000-square-foot, $75 million addition designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Museum members will probably get a sneak peak of the expanded and renovated museum before it officially reopens, says Fran Serlin, director of audience development for the museum. The closing won't hurt the museum financially because admission sales account for only 5 percent of the museum's budget, Goldsmith says. "You need fewer (employees) when you're closed, so it's almost a wash in terms of the cost," Goldsmith says. Yearly admissions generate about $150,000. Late winter and early spring aren't exceptionally busy for the museum, and Goldsmith anticipates losing about one-third of the museum's gate receipts for the year. Goldsmith says the museum expects admission to increase to about 200,000 visitors for the second half of 2001 when the museum will be open. Normally the museum has 175,000 guests throughout the entire year. Most of the museum's staff will still be able to work during the closing because they work behind the scenes.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2000/08/21/focus1.html?s=print

25/07/2011


Art Museum to close, remodel in buildup to Calatrava opening - The Business Journal

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Among the museum's approximately 130 employees, Goldsmith says about 10 handle shipping and installation of artwork, 30 run the museum's educational programs and about 60 work in back office operations like administration, marketing, public relations and advertising. The only people who won't be able to work during the closing are the approximately 30 who are guards, gift shop employees and front desk employees. The museum is trying to retain or redeploy most of its staff during the closing, Goldsmith says. "In a tight labor market, we don't want to lose even one person," Goldsmith says. "We feel we have a great staff right now." Goldsmith says the museum will need to hire at least 20 people to accommodate the increased traffic when the museum reopens. The museum has planned the redesign with Vinci/Hamp Architects, a museum design firm from Chicago, and has already started some of the work. Renovations of the Kahler galleries began in April and a reinstallation of the works in the Eero Saarinen galleries that began in May is already complete, says Russell Bowman, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum. During the renovation, the floors will be refinished, and the walls will be repainted in quieter tones and extended to the ceiling to give the exhibits a more permanent feel. The museum's holdings will be rearranged in chronological order. The Bradley Collection, which was renovated five years ago, is the only gallery that won't be altered. The temporary exhibition area on the lower level will be converted into permanent gallery space for the collection of American works. The east entrance, currently the museum's only entrance, will be turned into a gallery for contemporary art encompassing the last 25 years. African and Asian art will be getting their own galleries from the renovation as well, and the American Folk Art section will be expanded. In total, the renovation will give the museum 30 percent more gallery space, a clearer traffic path, and newer, more extensive educational materials, Bowman says. The new gallery space will allow the museum to show off many of its undisplayed works. About 75 percent of the unseen collection consists of smaller works on paper, which makes them sensitive to light, and works of the decorative arts like silver, china and glassware. Bowman says the museum is only showing 10 percent of its 20,000-piece collection. The special programming the museum will offer during the closing is designed to not only to whet peoples' appetites for the opening, but also to continue one of the museum's most important functions, Serlin says. For example, four lectures that deal with the inner workings, history and future of the Milwaukee Art Museum will be available to members for free.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2000/08/21/focus1.html?s=print

25/07/2011


Art Museum to close, remodel in buildup to Calatrava opening - The Business Journal

Pagina 3 di 3

"At the heart of all we do, we're an educational institution, so it is important that the educational programs continue," Serlin said. For non-members with a penchant for the aesthetic, the museum will still be involved in the 3rd Ward gallery nights, which are free, and will host a Mardi Gras carnival on the last Friday in February 2001. Entrance will be for a fee that has yet to be determined. The museum will also continue its two-year training program for volunteer docents and its less-extensive, deputy docent training program.

http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2000/08/21/focus1.html?s=print

25/07/2011


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