Posts tagged with "The Museum of Modern Art MoMA":

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MoMA launches extensive digital archive dating back to its 1929 founding

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has launched a comprehensive online exhibition archive that dates back to the museum's founding in 1929. The database will be accessible to historians, students, artists, and anyone interested in modern and contemporary art. It features materials from over 3,500 exhibitions, including installation photography, press releases, catalogues, and more. The resources are available at no charge, as to "directly align with the Museum’s mission of encouraging an ever-deeper understanding of modern and contemporary art and fostering scholarship," according to a press release from the museum. The exhibition history project was initiated and overseen by Michelle Elligott, chief of archives, and Fiona Romeo, director of digital content and strategy. The process took three MoMA archivists two and a half years to integrate over 22,000 folders of exhibition records dating from 1929 to 1989. Future phases of the project will include thousands of film series presented by MoMA’s Department of Film over its 80-year history, a history of performance at MoMA and MoMA PS1, and the exhibition history of MoMA PS1. Visit the archive at moma.org/history.
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Curator Martino Stierli on the future of MoMA’s architecture and design galleries

In The Architect’s Newspaper April East edition, editor in chief William Menking broke the news that MoMA will be closing its architecture and design galleries. To continue the conversation, Menking sat down with Martino Stierli, the museum’s Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design.

The Architect’s Newspaper: As part of MoMA’s renovation of the current building, the collection galleries on the third floor of the museum, which include the architecture gallery, were closed over the course of the last few weeks. These galleries will reopen in a new configuration in early 2017. Can you explain that new configuration and how you believe the architecture and design collection (the museum calls them “medium designated”) will be better represented?

Martino Stierli: Indeed, as has been communicated earlier, the whole third floor is currently undergoing a renovation with the goal of having three bigger galleries that will have a variety of uses. One of the galleries has already undergone a slight conversion. That is the former design gallery in which we are currently showing A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond. The other two new galleries on the third floor will open early next year. Going forward, all three of these galleries will be used for a variety of programs that include collection-based shows as well as special exhibitions. 

With regard to your question about the galleries for the architecture and design collection, these will be located in the new building. Until this new wing opens—given that we are going to have less space throughout the renovation—we are going to have to be more flexible about how we make best use of our available spaces. This doesn’t mean, though, that we are not going to have any media-specific installations during this period. So for example, we are working on a collection-based exhibition called Interior Propositions, which is curated by Juliet Kinchin. This exhibition will be shown where we are currently presenting A Japanese Constellation. Immediately after that, in summer 2017, the same space will be part of the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition, specifically for the education program. The main part of the exhibition will go into one of the new galleries, which will measure roughly 10,000 square feet. Having recently acquired the entire Frank Lloyd Wright Archives with Columbia University, that exhibition will again be overwhelmingly collection-based.

The Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition is an example of how we will be using spaces that have not previously been available for architecture and design collection shows. We’re also currently preparing an exhibition on the design of the early computer age that is going to go into a gallery on the second floor, traditionally [a space that] has been used for prints. Moreover, [associate curator] Sean Anderson is working on a collection-based exhibition on borders and migrations that will be presented in the Dunn Gallery on the second floor. The survey exhibition on the architecture of socialist Yugoslavia exhibition that I’m working on for the summer of 2018 will again go into the space on the third floor where the Frank Lloyd Wright show will be presented next summer.  So one could say that a certain continuity on the third floor will be ensured. At the same time, exhibitions organized by other curatorial departments will also be shown on that floor. 

So, because the museum is going to be larger with the new addition, it’s still not worked out where things are going to go.

That is correct. The new buildings will not open before 2019, and we are still working intensely on figuring out how the new spaces will be configured and what will go where. While we have not finalized the specific locations for the different parts of our various collections, we are committed to medium-dedicated galleries.

As far as the next few years are concerned, during the renovation and expansion projects, we will have to operate with more flexibility simply because we won’t have the same square footage available throughout the museum. Nevertheless, we are fully committed to presenting our rich collection in a way that will do justice to the specific needs of each medium, including architecture and design, while making visible the many meaningful connections among the different arts. It is a strategy that we think of as both/and: We are committed to both medium-dedicated galleries and more broadly comprehensive ones. There is no change in policy in this regard and the abolishing of architecture and design designated galleries is not and never has been an issue under consideration.

What you’re saying is that, in 2019, when all this opens up, there will be medium-designated galleries?

Yes. I can’t tell you at the moment what these galleries will look like specifically, simply because we are still very much working on these questions. But there will be medium-designated spaces.

If the departments of architecture and design will no longer have any dedicated exhibition spaces, the fear is that this collection will openly serve as a background to the other arts like painting and sculpture. You seem confident that this will not happen.

Yes. At the same time, I also want to say that I am interested in experimenting with new forms of displaying our collections and to see how far we can go in affording a more comprehensive look of the history of modernism. The exhibition on the fourth floor that deals with the 1960s is an example of this kind of experimentation, but it would be wrong to assume that this will be a model for other shows going forward that will also take a more comprehensive approach than we have traditionally done.

I agree with your belief that architecture is an art on the same level as painting, sculpture, and photography, but don’t you think, because of its necessity to be created collaboratively in a workshop, or needing to sometimes surrender to the wishes of the patron or client, or need to consider structural necessities, that architecture has its own requirements that can only be explored in a dedicated gallery? Doesn’t architecture also benefit from a gallery dedicated exclusively to its own medium?

Yes, I absolutely agree, and hence I believe it is important to have a space at hand in which the narratives specific to modern architecture and design can be explored.

Do you have plans to display the museum’s enormous collection of nearly 200,000 architecture and design objects? Many of these will not qualify as great major works, but are nevertheless important to the understanding of the museum. 

Several of the exhibitions that I mentioned earlier are actually collection shows: Interior Propositions is a collection show. Frank Lloyd Wright is a collection show. The Borders and Migrations show is mainly a collection-based show, even though it will include some loans. The computer age design exhibition is also a collection show. And after the expansion opens, we’ll have much more space to show the collection. The whole idea of this expansion project is to have more space for our amazing collection.

How much more square footage are you getting?

50,000 more square feet and a 30 percent increase in gallery space. We will still only be able to present a fraction of the collection at one time, but it will be significantly more than before.

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Lumsden Design to revamp MoMA Design Store

The MoMA Design Store has announced plans for a renovation, courtesy U.K.-based Lumsden Design. The latest redesign of the space, which opened in 1990 and was renovated in 1999 by 1100 Architect, will allow more light into the shop. Bespoke lighting will allow the retailers to better feature the objets d'art, furniture, kitchen, and impulse-buy tchotchke collections, while a custom-made bead-blasted steel-and-glass jewelry display case will highlight the Design Store's accessories. Additional improvements will strengthen store circulation, upgrade sales systems, and enhance connections to the museum. Gensler is the executive architect. “The MoMA Design Store renovation has been a great project. Our single focus was to design a shopping experience that best showcases the unique design pieces offered in the store,” said Callum Lumsden, director of Lumsden Design, in a press release. “Our job has been to enhance the presentation of the merchandise and every decision during the design process has been significant, because the end result elevates the entire shopping experience within the store.” Among other institutions, the firm has created stores for the British Museum, Tate Modern, Universal Studios, and the National Gallery of Canada. The store, which sits across from MoMA on Manhattan's West 53rd Street, is scheduled to reopen this fall.
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MoMA to celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday with an exhibit featuring 450 of his works

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will be celebrating Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th birthday in 2017—one year from today—by opening a comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the prolific Wisconsin-born architect. The exhibit, titled Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, will feature up to 450 works that span more than 60 years. Unpacking the Archive will showcase how Wright was radical designer eager to push the boundaries of architecture's technologies and materials while pioneering do-it-yourself construction systems. The exhibition will also delve into the the theories behind his work that relate to nature, urban planning, and social politics. Architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs, and scrapbooks, some never publicly seen, will be on display. The MoMA has also chosen to adopt an anthological approach to exhibiting Wright's work, dividing it into twelve sections which will each focus on a certain object(s) selected from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archive. In this way, the object(s) can be easily contextualized and juxtaposed with other works from the FLW Archive, the MoMA, or from outside collections. In a press release, the MoMA explained that the "exhibition seeks to open up Wright’s work to critical inquiry and debate, and to introduce experts and general audiences alike to new angles and interpretations of this extraordinary architect." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brZugTJ0odg Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive is organized by MoMA in collaboration with the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York, and by Barry Bergdoll, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA.
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Architecture as film: MoMA acquires Living Architectures (Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine) films

In mid-April, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) acquired all 16 films produced by the Italian-French duo, Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine. Their films are part of the Living Architectures series, “that seeks to develop a way of looking at architecture which turns away from the current trend of idealizing the representation of our architectural heritage,” Bêka and Lemoine explain on their website. “This acquisition represents the first inroads for the Department of Architecture and Design into the medium of film,” announced MoMA on their blog INSIDE/OUT. “In the coming years, working with our colleagues in the Department of Film, we plan to continue to acquire films relevant to the disciplines of architecture and design.” In Bêka and Lemoine’s films, there’s a crossover between architecture and urban anthropology. Filmmaker Ila Bêka has an architecture degree from UAV of Venice and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paris-Belleville, while filmmaker Louise Lemoine has a degree in cinema and philosophy from the Sorbonne, Paris. They self-distribute and publish their own films. In their Living Architectures films, the pair explores the humanity behind our architecture and the daily life surrounding our buildings. Bêka and Lemoine blend video art and the documentary: they observe, they meet, and they interview people. They immerse themselves in the architecture and the lives of those who live and work in these buildings. Perhaps their most famous film is Koolhaas Houselife, which features a Rem Koolhaas-designed residence in Bordeaux through the eyes of Guadalupe, the housekeeper who keeps the house running smoothly. “You see two systems colliding, two systems—kind of the platonic conception of cleaning with the platonic conception of architecture. It’s not necessarily daily life confronting an exceptional structure; it’s two ideologies confronting each other,” said Koolhaas in a 2009 interview with Bêka and Lemoine about the film. Then there is Barbicania. The Barbican art gallery invited the filmmakers to trace the lives of the residents and employees who live and work in the brutalist Barbican Centre and Estate in London. “The first day we arrived in London, we took the map of London and with scissors cut out of the map of London a little square, which was really the permit of the Barbican, and for thirty days…we never went out of that little area,” said Lemoine in an interview for the 2015 Design Film Festival. “The process is to find the keys of intimacy, to find a confidence, an environment that brings confidence.”
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The MoMA’s tribute to Zaha Hadid

The Museum of Modern Art has just put up a small tribute exhibition of the drawings of Zaha Hadid. It foregrounds her powerful image making and evocative and personal drawing style—the most influential of her generation. The tribute includes an exterior painted perspective of her competition entry into the Peak completion (1991) in Kowloon. Next to this painting is a series of 20 colored pencil, graphite, and ink hand drawings for Parc de la Villette, Paris (1982-83). These works—all from the period before her studio turned into an office—showcase working drawings that powerfully point to why she was considered such an important figure in the world of architecture. The exhibition was organized by Sean Anderson and Arièle Dionne-Krosnick of the museum's department of architecture and design.
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MoMA to close galleries dedicated to architecture and design

New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is closing its galleries dedicated to architecture and design. The museum is famous, of course, for having the first sustained department of architecture and design of any museum in the world. (There was a short-lived one at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in the 19th century.) Since at least the 1960s, MoMA has had dedicated spaces reserved for its vast—and ever expanding—collection of nearly 30,000 architectural models, works on paper, design objects, and interiors like the Frankfurt Kitchen. These galleries, along with the Edward Steichen Photography and Paul J. Sachs Drawings galleries, are what the museum calls “medium-specific” galleries. These rooms will also be absorbed into larger spaces devoted to general exhibitions and displays of the museum’s collection. The Terence Riley–designed third floor Johnson galleries, which has served to display the design collection since 2004, has been demounted and put into storage. Now the exhibit A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond is in that space. The other still-existing architecture gallery on the same floor will disappear with the end of Pedro Gadanho’s show on Frederick Kiesler’s Endless House. In addition before the gallery is dismounted a memorial to Zaha Hadid will be mounted in the space. The museum claims that this is a temporary result of the current Diller Scofidio and Renfro (DS+R) renovation and expansion and has not “made any statements yet on how the collection will be displayed following the expansion.” During this period of reorganization, the galleries will be repurposed for general collection and themed exhibitions. The museum is clear to point out that this does not mean the end of large themed traveling or loaned exhibitions devoted to architecture and design. A spokesperson for the museum claims that “By being flexible and not rigid with our spaces, we are able to show the collection in many new and different ways. That isn't to say that this is permanent—it's a period of trying things out.” There is, for example, a new mixed-media installation of work taken from the museum’s collection on the 1960s that will be “among the new ways that [we are] showing the collection during construction.” The museum also asserts “MoMA will be presenting its collection in new contexts. Exhibitions will continue to include those focused only on mediums such as architecture and design. We will continue to have a robust program of collecting, conserving, and exhibiting architecture and design.” There has been a trend in the museum world toward these sorts of multi-disciplinary exhibitions that display work for all the arts under a same title. The Tate Modern has been doing this for many years (perhaps because it does not have an architecture collection) and MoMA seems to be finally joining this display bandwagon.

This new reconfiguration, where medium-specific galleries are closed and the  architecture and design collections are merged into the larger ones, will have effects for both the collection and the importance of architecture and design in the museum. If you visit MoMA today with the aim of viewing its significant collection of architecture drawings, models, and design objects, then you will no longer be able to see them in a focused and dedicated room. In the longer run, it means that architecture and design will be competing with all the other departments and curators for exhibition space. Architecture has traditionally been the most difficult of the arts to display and much of the time it develops with little or no overt connection to the other arts. It could be good to see architecture and design placed into a larger context of the arts, but it’s not hard to imagine—given the role they have traditionally played in art history and museums—that architecture will be sidelined and used only to create and frame connections, not to drive a particular movement. It is possible that all curators believe their disciplines are unique, but architecture needs to be seen in a setting that not only foregrounds art, but also the constraints and influences of materials, client demands, etc. The museum is making a point of saying that this is not a permanent change and for the sake of the architecture and design collections, lets hope that the DS+R scheme, which has not been made public, will include galleries devoted to architecture and design.
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On View> MoMA presents A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond

A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd Street, New York From March 13–July 31, 2016 Boasting models, drawings, and images of over 40 architectural designs, A Japanese Constellation seeks to display the prominence and impact of Pritzker Prize winners Toyo Ito and SANAA and the effect they have had on Japanese design since the 1990s. This is reflected through film and imagery projected onto translucent curtains used to articulate an intersectional spatial arrangement within the exhibition. The feature reflects how Ito’s influence permeates through the works of contemporary Japanese designers such as Sou Fujimoto, Akihisa Hirata, Junya Ishigami, Ryue Nishizawa, and Kazuyo Sejima. Many of the featured architects have played a part in the changing face of Japan’s architecture since the 2011 earthquake. The exhibition highlights 44 designs, from small houses to museums, which display the innovation and cross-pollination evident in contemporary architecture. moma_soufujimoto_housena
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Wasserman Projects holds panel discussion on the future of Detroit architecture

As a part of Detroit's Wasserman Projects exhibition, Desire Bouncing, a panel discussion addressed the future of architecture and art in Detroit. The panel was moderated by Reed Kroloff, principal of Jones Kroloff and former director of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. The panel included exhibiting artist Alex Schweder, associate curator at MoMA's Department of Architecture and Design; Sean Anderson, architectural critic; Cynthia DavidsonVenice Biennale U.S. Pavilion co-curator; and Mitch McEwen, assistant professor of Architecture at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan. Detroit is physically changing. Some of its architectural treasures and thousands more of its abandoned homes have been demolished. But now that Detroit is undergoing the slow process of rebuilding, what kind of architecture will replace it? This and other questions were discussed among an expert panel of architects and critics that gathered last Friday at Wasserman Projects, a gallery and event space in a renovated fire truck maintenance facility in Detroit's Eastern Market. Around 50 guests attended the panel discussion, called "Architecture By Any Means Necessary." Kroloff began by asking the panelists, "What are things architecture can do beyond creating a city environment?" "Structures are receptacles for stories, for meanings," said Alex Schweder, an artist who often combines performance and architecture in his work. "The structures in Washington D.C. are a manifestation of stories we tell about our country." "Buildings can perform things we never thought were possible," said Mitch McEwen, a founding partner at A(n) Office and Principal of McEwen Studio. Her example of Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which changed her conception of architecture, lead to an argument about the interaction between a building and its visitors. Cynthia Davidson described her distaste for Detroit's Renaissance Center, the headquarters of General Motors, often criticized for its confusing walkways and lack of synergy with downtown. "[Designer John] Portman makes you realize how controlling architecture can be," she said. In response to a question about what new architecture in Detroit should do, Schweder advocated architects and city managers give up some control. "Our roles can be collaborative with client and users," he said. "People want voice and agency in the look and use of their city." The discussion took a turn towards political issues and actual implementation of these ideas. Sean Anderson, acknowledged the difficulty Schweder's proposal. "History is often not recognized by developers that come and rebuild cities." During the audience question portion of the panel, someone mentioned that vast areas of Detroit that have no architecture, but "only the ghosts of architecture." He then wondered if this "absence" was worth preserving. "Detroit is a city of single family homes," answered McEwen. She felt that memorializing vacancy was the wrong approach. "I hope the city rebuilds, but with respect for the logic of the single family home." Desire Bouncing will be on show through April 9th at the Wasserman Projects at 3434 Russell Street, #502, Detroit, Michigan 48207. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScgU9lB3Ves
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Escobedo Solíz Studio wins 2016 MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program

Mexico City–based Escobedo Solíz Studio is the winner of the 17th annual MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP) in Queens, New York. Escobedo Solíz Studio, beat five finalists to design a temporary urban landscape for the courtyard of the 2016 Warm Up summer music series. Weaving the Courtyard, will open at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City in early June. According to the architects, the installation will be “neither an object nor a sculpture standing in the courtyard, but a series of simple, powerful actions that generate new and different atmospheres.” The canopy departs from the last few object-based interventions, such as Wendy, Hy-Fi, and COSMO. A vibrant, colorful landscape will be created by using the formwork holes in the walls to anchor colored bands. Water will again be an experiential component, as a wading pool will allow visitors to cool off in fresh water. “This year’s finalists of the Young Architects Program explored a range of approaches, materials, and scales to effectively question the MoMA PS1 courtyard as an arena for escape. Escobedo Solíz’s ingenious proposal speaks to both the ephemerality of architectural imagery today but also to the nature of spatial transactions more broadly. From the evocative woven canopy that will engage visitors overhead to a reflective wading pool, Weaving the Courtyard sensitively brings together elements of MoMA PS1’s Warm Up Series with an exuberant collection of zones and environments,” said Sean Anderson, Associate Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design, in a statement. Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large added, "This year marks the 40th anniversary of MoMA PS1 and the 17th joint annual competition brought together by the Architecture and Design Department at MoMA and MoMA PS1. The Mexico City-based team will work on a colorful, celebratory intervention that takes its point of departure to be the existing geometric concrete forms in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 simultaneously creating an urban beach of sand, water, and vibrant colors.” https://youtu.be/aH72lU4AGpU The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program were First Office (Andrew Atwood and Anna Neimark), Ultramoderne (Yasmin Vorbis and Aaron Forrest), COBALT OFFICE (Andrew Colopy and Robert Booth), and Frida Escobedo. An exhibition of the five finalists' proposed projects will be on view at MoMA over the summer, organized by Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, with Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA.
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Ever-growing MoMA splits its controversial expansion plans into three phases

When MoMA debuted its Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R)–led expansion and renovation plans in 2014, the reaction from the public was overwhelmingly negative. Those plans called for demolishing the Tod Williams and Billie Tsien–designed American Folk Art Museum and creating a glass curtain wall that would open MoMA's entire first floor to the public, for free. It's not the free part critics took issue with: It was the perceived chaos of the museum-goer experience and wholesale destruction of the folk art museum. MoMA took note, and pulled plans back. This week, revised plans were revealed. DS+R is still the architect (with Gensler), and the original objective—to create unfettered movement between galleries—remains. But a lot has also changed. Plans call for connecting galleries in Jean Nouvel’s planned residential tower at West 53rd Street, the new DS+R addition, galleries in the site of the former American Folk Art Museum, and the current MoMA building to broaden public access and accommodate skyrocketing attendance. Renovations and new construction will add 50,000 square feet of exhibition space, and expand the lobbies. When construction is complete, MoMA will be 744,000 square feet, or 17 percent, larger than it is today. The fluidity of the program, museum officials and observers contend, signal MoMA’s move away from traditional departmental categories towards more interdisciplinary collaboration. Martino Stierli, the museum’s chief curator of architecture and design, told the New York Times that MoMA is “really using this moment of renovation to explore other ways to see our collection—looking at how media can interact. We want to make use of this time to try new things.” Given the museum's increasing popularity, more people will see these new concepts in practice. Since 2004, the year that Yoshio Taniguchi's $858 million addition opened to the public, the collection has grown by 40 percent, the number of yearly exhibitions has increased from 15 to 35, membership has reached 150,000, and attendance has doubled to three million annual visitors. The project is being split into three phases so the museum will not have to close completely. DS+R’s structure will be the last of the three: The first phase will be changes to the Lauder Building, where audiences now enter for film screenings, followed by renovations to the Taniguchi building. The Lauder building's east lobby will be expanded to improve crowd flow to the main lobby, and the gift shop and bookstore will be moved below ground to facilitate the expansion. Broadening public access will be achieved by different means than those put forth in the plan's first iteration. A new public entrance to the 54th Street sculpture garden was nixed due to security concerns. The “Art Bay," a retractable glass door would have allowed museumgoers to enter ground-floor galleries straight from the street, has also disappeared from plans. Instead, the first floor will have a free gallery with two exhibition spaces (one double height, for MoMA's Project Series) that's open to the public, but accessed through the museum lobby. A new canopy and a double height ceiling at the 53rd Street entrance will give extra visibility to the museum's main entrance. The double height ceiling will displace the media gallery, whose contents could be moved to a fourth floor gallery for media and performance. To accommodate larger pieces, or pieces of the future whose spatial requirements cannot yet be determined, none of the new galleries will have permanent walls, and collections galleries will be almost column-free. The four third-floor galleries (including galleries for architecture, photography, drawings, and special exhibition) will be merged into two galleries of 10,000 and 5,000 square feet. Glass, steel, and stone will be traded for a warmer palette to unify the changes. Construction on the $390 to $400 million project will begin next month. Although completion is contingent on the project timeline of the Nouvel building, all construction is expected to be complete by 2019 or 2020.