Art Institute of Chicago Addition by Renzo Piano to Open in 2009
The Nichols Bridgeway, a Piano-designed pedestrian bridge that will connect the wing to Millennium Park, will open the same day.
Nicholas Tamarin -- Interior Design, 7/25/2008 12:00:00 AM
Design-centric Chicagoans should circle May 16, 2009 on the calendar: That's the day the Art Institute of Chicago will swing open the doors on its Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing, the largest addition in the museum's history.
That Saturday will also see the opening of the Nichols Bridgeway, a Piano-designed pedestrian bridge that will connect the wing to Millennium Park, already home to a Frank Gehry stage and an Anish Kapoor sculpture, and the site of soon-to-be constructed temporary pavilions by Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel.
"The opening of the Modern Wing is a historic moment…the culmination of a decade of work and dedication by everyone at the museum," says Tom Pritzker, chairman of the museum's board of trustees. "The Modern Wing signals to the world the cultural caliber of the city of Chicago and reaffirms its place as a leading cultural destination."
In celebration of the opening, admission to the entire museum will be free from May 16-22. The opening day will be preceded by a week of special activities for school children staff, members, and donors.
The 264,000-square-foot wing will house the museum's collection of modern European and contemporary art, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Andy Warhol. It will also contain new gallery space for photography, architecture, and design collections.
The wing's special exhibition galleries will be inaugurated with "Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2001-2007." The American artist’s first U.S. museum exhibition, the show runs May 16-September 13, and will feature approximately 30 paintings, works on paper, photographs and sculptures.
A view of the Modern Wing, currently under construction, from Millennium Park.
Photo courtesy of Charles G. Young, Interactive Design Architects.