Oct. 1: Launch party inaugurates Museum of Art expansion


PULLMAN, Wash. – With the planning stage completed, Washington State University will host a free, public launch party to dedicate the site of the $15 million Museum of Art expansion. The party will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in the Fine Arts plaza.

“The Museum of Art that we envision – an architectural beacon in the heart of campus – will complete the picture of a great university and provide a unique window into what it means to be a citizen of the world,” said Elson S. Floyd, late WSU president, about the new facility.

The project will break ground in November and is scheduled for completion in spring 2018. A gift of $5 million from Portland philanthropist and art collector Jordan Schnitzer – for whom the museum will be named – has provided nearly half of the $11 million to be raised from private sources. WSU will provide $4 million.

“Every person, especially young people, must have the opportunity to experience the arts as part of their lives,” Schnitzer said. “What better place to help further that goal than our college campuses.”

To give to the building campaign, please visit https://secure.wsu.edu/give/default.aspx?fund=2035.

The expansion will more than double the museum’s size, with 10,000 square feet of space in six galleries and 6,500 square feet of office and support space. Jim Olson, founder of the award-winning Seattle firm Olson-Kundig, is the lead architect.

“One thing a young person needs more than anything else is creativity, flexibility, open-mindedness to all the possibilities in the world,” Olson said about the museum.

The crimson glass exterior of the building will reflect everything around it, providing a stunning visual symbol of the idea that art reflects society. A glass pavilion opening onto Terrell Mall will serve as the lobby and experimental gallery.

Learn more about the plans at https://museum.wsu.edu/new/wp-content/uploads/sites/875/2015/07/WSU_MoA_booklet_reference_only.pdf.

The museum permanent collection includes approximately 3,500 works. Among the most important are American paintings from the “Ash Can” School of the 1920s-30s; Goya’s “Los Disparates” print portfolio; 174 original photographs and prints by Andy Warhol; 201 works on paper by Jim Dine; a comprehensive collection of Northwest glass; and a recent gift of 39 works by Northwest artists from the Safeco collection.


Debby Stinson, Museum of Art/WSU, 509-335-6282, debby_stinson@wsu.edu
Anna-Maria Shannon, Museum of Art/WSU, 509-335-6140, annamshannon@wsu.edu