A new beginning for the Weisman Art Museum

Closed a year ago for expansion, the Weisman Art Museum is now ready to throw open its doors to the public.

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Weisman Art Museum’s new galleries

MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

The newly expanded University of Minnesota museum features twice as much gallery space, and a new studio designed to house creative collaborations.

Both the original museum and the expansion were designed by internationally reknowned architect Frank Gehry. MPR’s Euan Kerr spoke to museum director Lyndel King, who said it couldn’t be any other way:

“We knew we had to go back to Frank, because the building is like a work of art,” she says. “I mean we consider it a piece in our collection.”

To do anything else, King says, would be like asking a sculptor to alter someone else’s work.

The Weisman was the first museum Gehry designed from scratch. His later [works], the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Experience Music Project in Seattle got a lot more attention. But King is OK with that.

“We are the Baby Bilbao,” she said. “We like to say we taught Frank everything he knows about designing museums.”

This weekend the Weisman will celebrate its re-opening with a gala event on Saturday (sold out) and a public party on Sunday, featuring music, dance, and printmaking.

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