Chrysler Art Museum winds down before renovation
Chrysler Art Museum winds down before renovation
Where: Chrysler Museum of Art, 245 W. Olney Road, Norfolk
Anne Kabaitan posed for a picture in the Chrysler Museum of Art last week beside one of her favorite pieces, a life-scale glass sculpture of a dress in a reclining pose by artist Karen LaMonte.
Kabaitan, 37, was among the patrons paying a visit to the museum before it temporarily closes.
Sunday is the last day the public can visit the Chrysler before it shuts its doors to undergo a $24 million expansion and renovation. The museum is expected to reopen in April 2014.
The project will add 10,000 square feet to the front of the building, much of it for displaying contemporary glass art and European and American paintings. The cafe also will be moved near the entrance and extended onto an outdoor courtyard.
"I was a little sad to hear it," Kabaitan said about the closure. "But when I read about the expansion, I was excited about that.
"Then I heard some of the pieces would be exhibited throughout the area."
Guests at a free party Wednesday at the Chrysler will learn where the museum will be showing some of its art and offering programs next year. The event is open to the public.
"First and foremost, it's a party to say thank you to the community for its support," museum director Bill Hennessey said.
The $24 million expansion is part of a $45 million capital campaign that also funded the Chrysler's year-old glass studio and some endowments, he said, adding that most of the necessary money has been raised.
"We're down to the last couple of million," he said.
Wednesday's event also "celebrates the great adventure of our expansion," Hennessey said. "We want people of all ages to come to the museum and have a great time."
The party will feature refreshments, tours and entertainment, including the Virginia Chorale.
Much of the Chrysler's 30,000-piece collection is being crated and transported to satellite storage areas. The museum has sought outlets to show some of its finest pieces and to continue its art education programs.
"We can't invite you to come see us," Hennessey said, "but we'll bring our art and people out to visit you."
n The Willoughby-Baylor House, a late 18th century home operated by the Chrysler, will replace its Norfolk history display through 2013 with 50 American paintings and sculptures, including works by Albert Bierstadt, John Singleton Copley and Winslow Homer.
n From Jan. 25 to April 28, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach will feature "The Nexus," an exhibition of works by 20 contemporary artists with a connection to both the Chrysler and MOCA. Dale
Chihuly, Carrie Mae Weems and William Wegman are among them.
n The Selden Arcade in downtown Norfolk will feature conceptual artist Luke DuBois' "Hindsight is Always 20/20," consisting of eye charts focused on the most frequently uttered words in various U.S. presidents' state of the union addresses. The installation will be up from Jan. 26 through March 9.
While the museum construction continues, the Chrysler's glass studio will remain open, featuring visiting artists and offering classes. Acclaimed glass artist Beth Lipman will be at the studio in March to create an installation inspired by the Moses Myers House, the other downtown historic home operated by the Chrysler.
Earlier this year, museum officials had expected to nab a storefront in MacArthur Center for exhibitions. "It did not work out, not because MacArthur wasn't wonderfully cooperative," Hennessey said. "It's because they're completely rented."
Instead, the museum took up an offer to set up a gallery in Selden Arcade, also home to the city's Cultural Affairs and to the d'Art Center, which consists of galleries and artists working in their studios.
The Hampton Roads Student Gallery contest and exhibit for high school juniors and seniors again will be housed at Selden, from Feb. 2 to 16.
Also, the museum's popular, free family days - with art, music and fun programs - will take place at Selden.
Later next year, the Chrysler also will lend art for shows at the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries at Old Dominion University in Norfolk and at the Visual Arts Center at Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth.
Through Sunday, however, nearly half of the museum remains open, and that includes special exhibitions of Louis Comfort Tiffany glass and cameo glass and several contemporary shows. Visual arts students from the Governor's School for the Arts also are featured.
Just off Huber Court is a gallery containing the museum's prime Impressionist works, including its Mary Cassatt painting of a mother and two children and its Pierre Auguste Renoir portrait of his art dealer's daughters.
"I have to say, I think it looks better in that setting now than in its normal place on the second floor," Hennessey said.
Then, come Sunday, it's au revoir, Renoir.
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