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WAM News and Events Blog

Breaking news, upcoming events, and periodic musings from the Weisman Art Museum.

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October 10, 2010

Goodbye for a year--but not really

Today--Sunday, October 10, 2010--is your last chance for a year to visit the Weisman Art Museum. At 5 p.m., we'll close our doors until fall 2011 as part of our major expansion project.

The expansion has been part of WAM's long-term plan since the building opened in 1993. Legendary architect Frank Gehry has returned to complete his original vision for the Weisman with these new gallery spaces.

It'll be worth the wait. The Weisman's five new galleries will allow us to share more than three times as many objects from our permanent collection at any given time. One new gallery will be filled with highlights from our noted ceramics collection (master potter Warren MacKenzie will help us select the work); two will house masterworks of American modernism; and another will showcase our considerable collection of photography, prints, and drawings. The fifth new gallery, the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration, will house experimental collaborations between artists and students, faculty, and the community.

Check out some recent media stories on our expansion here, here, and here.

If you haven't been to WAM recently, here's how the construction site looks these days:


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People have asked us what we'll be doing during this year that we're closed. We'll be using off-site locations to bring you great programming like the WAM Art Mob, which visits artists' studios, tours private collections, and goes to galleries to learn about collecting art in a casual atmosphere. If you haven't been part of Art Mob before, this would be a perfect year to join. Read more here.

We'll also be taking the Weisman on the road. Through a new education program called WAM to Go, we'll bring the richness of WAM's vast collection to schools, libraries, and community centers. Trained museum instructors will lead interactive workshops that feature images of objects from the museum. Workshops are designed to be active, guided, thematic discussions rooted in the participants' experiences, with critical looking and thinking about selected images from the Weisman's diverse collection. Interested in hosting a WAM to Go workshop? Email our education department.

Also this year, we'll be reinventing and reimagining everything we do at WAM--we'll bring new interpretive techologies into the galleries, redesign our website, create new visitor experiences, re-engineer our membership program, and imagine new ways to collaborate with our audiences. You'll recognize us when we reopen, but you'll also say, "Wow--you've changed!"

So, stick around. Stick with us. Join the Art Mob. Host a WAM to Go workshop. If you haven't already, sign up for our e-newsletter, where we'll give regular updates throughout the year on our transformation. While our precise opening date has yet to be set, expect the party of the year in fall 2011.

As Gehry himself famously said, "You've got to bumble forward into the unknown."

Here we go.

June 11, 2009

54-foot Rauschenberg print gets installed at WAM

Crews from the Weisman and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) installed Robert Rauschenberg's Currents at the Weisman. Currents, a 54-foot screenprint that is part of the MIA collection, is featured in the Weisman's exhibition Au Courant, which opens June 20.

Thirteen crew members from both museums collaborated on the installation, conditioning the print, installing plexiglass sheets and hoisting the print on four lifts to hang it on the wall.

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May 7, 2009

Weisman named best museum in City Pages

Just in case you haven't heard, the Weisman Art Museum was named best museum in City Pages' recently published Best of the Twin Cities 2009 issue.

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Thanks for making this past year remarkable through your engagement and support.

October 22, 2008

The Collectors Series: Babe Davis

With the Weisman's upcoming expansion, its gallery spaces for collections will grow, allowing room to present many more pieces for patrons to enjoy. While many museums operate with a significant budget for acquiring works, the Weisman's collection was built largely through gifts of art. Through the generosity of collectors like Babe Davis, the Weisman is able to acquire and display works by Rauschenberg, O’Keeffe, Hartley, and many other notable artists. To salute and share bits and pieces about Davis and other collectors who have given generously to the Weisman, we introduce the Collectors Series—periodic short profiles that will appear in this blog.

Babe Davis has donated a portfolio of art and volunteer time to the museum. Her relationship with the University of Minnesota’s art collection began years ago as a student. One of her first experiences with art was as a participant in the University’s art rental program. Later, as a frustrated artist, she loved wandering through smaller galleries in New York when traveling with her husband. Davis comments, "I bought what I could afford. I loved impressionists but couldn't afford them, but I bought what I loved. Who knew they would be worth anything??

For over 20 years Davis has again been an active member of the University art community and a key contributor of time and works of art to the Weisman. She is one of the founding members of the museum's Colleagues Advisory Board and helped establish a system for reviewing and determining the value of the permanent collection.

Her most recent donation to the collection was PP II by Robert Rauschenberg (pictured above). In total she has donated and lent more than 70 pieces of art to the Weisman, including the work of such notable artists as Louise Nevelson, Jean Dubuffet, and Chuck Close. Davis notes, "It's a pleasure to give. I like to. It's just a pleasure. Certain things belong in a museum for others— for the kids—to enjoy."

Weisman director Lyndel King agrees with Davis and believes “with collectors like Babe contributing to the museum, it empowers students and the rest of the community to have deeper relationships with art, by providing extended experiences with each piece on display.?

Learn more online about how to get involved at the Weisman and look for upcoming entries in WAM’s Collectors Series.

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