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Rendering Olson Kundig

Launch Party Inaugurates Museum of Art Expansion at Washington State University


Washington State University hosted a public launch event to dedicate the site of the Museum of Art expansion designed by Olson Kundig, Owner/Principal, Jim Olson. The project will break ground in November and is scheduled for completion in spring 2018.

The new 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. 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 $5 million.

The building will feature an open and welcoming entrance that can serve as a destination gathering place for students, faculty and the public. New spaces will include permanent collection galleries, an outdoor sculpture garden, and galleries for special exhibitions. Noted landscape architect Gustafson Guthrie Nichol will provide landscape design. The unique crimson glass exteriors will be in continual flux, capturing moments from around it and providing a stunning visual symbol of the concept that art reflects society.

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.

The opportunity to create a building for the campus and the entire region that is dedicated to sharing the power of art, and the spirit of creativity that art embodies, means a great deal to me. It is a testament to the cultural commitment WSU holds for its family of students and the broader community. Jim Olson, Design Principal
Photo courtesy of WSU Museum of Art. Steven Rainville, Olson Kundig; H.S. Wright, III; Chris Bruce, Director, Museum of Art/WSU; Jordan D. Schnitzer, Philanthropist; Jim Olson, Olson Kundig; WSU President, Kirk Schulz .
Every person, especially young people, must have the opportunity to experience the arts as part of their lives. What better place to help further that goal than our college campuses Jordan Schnitzer, Philanthropist and Art Collector
Photo courtesy of WSU Museum of Art. Jordan D. Schnitzer, Philanthropist; WSU President, Kirk Schulz
The Museum of Art that we envision ‑ an architectural beacon in the heart of the 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. Elson S. Floyd, late WSU President