The Philadelphia Museum of Art‘s renovation and expansion project was led by architect Frank Gehry, who said: “Our overarching goal has been to create spaces for art and for people.”
“The goal in all of our work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been to let the museum guide our hand,” added Gehry. “The brilliant architects who came before us created a strong and intelligent design that we have tried to respect, and in some cases accentuate.”
The opening on May 7, 2021 comes after two decades of planning, design and construction. The museum has been renovated and reorganised, with the interior of the 1928 building expanded under the Core Project.
The Core Project comprises 90,000 square feet of reimagined and new space within the main building, including the renovated Lenfest Hall.
Frank Gehry design project
“This is an investment in Philadelphia,” said Leslie Anne Miller, chair of the board of trustees at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“It is critically important not only for one of this city’s most significant cultural assets, but also for the future of the city,” added Miller. “It is vital to our economic recovery, but the value of its impact will only become fully evident over time.”
Additionally, the West Terrace has been rebuilt and renamed the Robbi and Bruce Toll Terrace, and the museum has a new public space called the Williams Forum. The Vaulted Walkway will also reopen to the public after nearly 50 years.
Office, restaurant and retail areas have been converted into 20,000 square feet of galleries and exhibition space, including the Robert L McNeil Jr Galleries and Daniel W Dietrich II Galleries.
“Create spaces for art and for people”
Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener director and CEO, said: “What we have achieved through the completion of the Core Project represents the work of many hands, from architects and engineers to steel workers and stonemasons.
“The value of Frank Gehry’s brilliant plan for the renewal and improvement of this great building will be clear for everyone to see and appreciate,” added Rub.
“It both honors the past, respecting the character of this great building, and at the same time offers a compelling vision of the future.”
Meanwhile, The Art Newspaper has unveiled the world’s top 100 art museums in its annual survey, revealing a decline of 77 percent in attendance globally due to COVID-19.
Images: Philadelphia Museum of Art