March 22, 2019

New Art Facility and Expanded Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis to Open in September

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—Washington University in St. Louis will unveil in September the Anabeth and John Weil Hall, a new home for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts that will host graduate studios, classrooms, and digital fabrication spaces. The 82,000-square-foot building will reunite the university’s art, architecture, and design programs under one roof and feature flexible learning spaces and exhibitions of student work in its Weil Hall Commons space.

“This is the dawn of a new era for Washington University and the Sam Fox School,” said Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean and E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts. “Weil Hall and the expanded Kemper Art Museum demonstrate the important role that art, architecture, and design education play within a top-tier research university.”

Also in September, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum will reopen following an eighteen-month expansion of its gallery and public spaces. The museum closed in May 2018 with a thesis exhibition by MFA graduates in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and will debut its new spaces with “Ai Weiwei: Bare Life,” a presentation of the artist’s involvement with human rights, which will be on view through January 2020.

The expanded Kemper Art Museum will also feature reconfigured galleries for works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the museum’s collection. The new visitor lobby, the James M. Kemper Gallery, will display a site-specific installation by Tomás Saraceno, whose work the museum surveyed in 2012. The museum’s new spaces, designed by Philadelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimberlake, will open onto the redesigned Danforth Campus, a $280-million undertaking to reimagine the university’s public spaces.

“This expansion creates exciting new opportunies for public dialogue and prolonged visual engagement,” said Sabine Eckmann, the William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator. “Taken together, these changed will provide visitors with a powerful aesthetic experience while improving the museum’s ability to realize temporary exhibitions, collaborate with peer institutions, and showcase works that have rarely been on view.”

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