Monday, January 17, 2011

Columbus Museum of Art (revamped)

 The Columbus Museum of Art has finished its renovation of its original building and early 1970's addition. It is still the tiny art museum it was 35 years ago, but a new addition is set to break ground soon for a late 2012 opening. The site on E. Broad Street is hemmed in by a gothic church to its west and the Columbus College of Art and Design to its rear. Small for its size of city today.
 The central jewel of this renovation is Derby Court which has only one artwork that isn't part of the building's reliefs (the Chihuly above). But the museum has to raise millions of dollars and this court is perfect for your next social event.
 Like all art museums today, a modern skylight is essential.
 The old building itself is a work of art with many historic looking reliefs and accents.
 The hallways around the Derby Court have been brought back to their colorful splendor.
 The old entrance way is also empty, but the ceiling is amazing.
 The first level is void of offices and is now known as the Center for Creativity to bring a family friendly aspect to CMA. Above is the Wonder Room, one of several rooms to keep kids active. The auditorium and gift shops are still there and still small.
 Upstairs, the ten old building galleries house the permanent collection organized by themes rather than historical periods. Above you see the George Segal sculpture with the famous early 20th Century works behind. This makes loaning out works seamless since another piece from any period can be substituted.
 Each room is painted a different color. In all, this makes the Columbus Museum of Art a unique experience among art museums.
 The hallways are devoted to traditional sculpture. The 1970's addition continues to house the special exhibits, but with so much art stored away, CMA can bring their own art out for a special exhibition.
 Above is a Renoir. Unfortunately, I found the older paintings dingy and in need of cleaning. The colors are not as bright as they could be, but what would that cost? Is that something museums are willing to risk?
 Exciting for 2011 to have our art museum fully back and revamped. However, it is the same building I took classes in at CCAD. And they charge admission, unlike the bigger art museums in Ohio. Sunday is free, but then it becomes a kid's museum with little room to walk around. Hopefully the new addition will do the trick.
Beacon Hall (above) was where C.C.A.D. had most of its classes until the mid-1970's. Now it is the museum's offices and in the area of the new addition. If the art museum could just buy the church that sits next to it, it could expand into a large empty lot at Cleveland and Broad St. Much has been talked about moving the art museum, which has left it without the proper space for years. Because C.C.A.D. has expanded so much in recent years, keeping the two together makes a lot of sense. However, Columbus need more NON-contemporary art available to the public to prosper.