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Washington State University to open $15m art museum in April

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Washington State University WSU Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Washing State University (WSU) will open its new $15m Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on 6 April following the construction of the “Crimson Cube” building.

The Schnitzer-WSU museum replaces the WSU Museum of Art and features seven galleries with 1,300sqm of exhibit space. Exhibits will vary from prints, sculptures, fibres and ceramics to interactive sound and video.

Nicknamed the “Crimson Cube” for its box configuration wrapped in crimson-coloured glass, the structure of the new building mirrors its campus surroundings. The reflective panels made in the Netherlands are the brainchild of the building’s designer, Jim Olson of Olson-Kundig Architects.

In addition to the Crimson Cube, which holds the main gallery spaces, the adjacent former WSU Museum of Art building will host teaching space and a gallery for fine-arts students to display their works.

The museum’s inaugural exhibits will include prints loaned through the Portland-based Schnitzer Foundation, a major new work by Seattle sound sculptor Trimpin and prints by Jim Dine, best known for his artwork featuring colourful hearts.

As the former museum only had one gallery, many of the 3,500 pieces in its permanent collection were kept in storage. These will now be displayed in rotating exhibits.

WSU President Kirk Schulz said: “The new Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, placed in the heart of the Pullman campus, symbolises the vital role of the arts at our university.

“Similarly, the arts are a key part of the Drive to 25, our institutional initiative to become one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities. To fulfil our commitment of providing WSU students with a transformative educational experience, we must have a dynamic arts environment.”

The $15m museum was mostly privately funded and is expected to draw 20,000 visitors annually.

Image: c. Washington State University.

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