Midwest art museum

St Louis’s Contemporary Art Museum has opened. Located in the city’s midtown cultural district west of the Gateway Arch, the USD 6.7 million museum shares a courtyard with the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. The museum’s opening is just the latest in a string of art museum developments statewide that began in 1994 with the opening of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Kansas City. The museum, as well as the Pulitzer, asserts a boxy, minimalist and impressive presence in a neighbourhood that has been a target of aggressive revitalisation since the 1980s. The two-level rectangular building is softened by a long, curving wall on the west end. About half of the exterior is clad in stainless-steel mesh panels, and multiple windows allow clear views of the art inside. It was designed by Oregon-based Brad Cloepfil, who also is working on an expansion of the Seattle Art Museum and a redesign of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. At 25,200 square feet, the Contemporary Art Museum St Louis is slightly larger than Kansas City’s Kemper Museum, but it is about 5000 square feet smaller than the planned contemporary art museum at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park.

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