Anchorage Museum plans new addition to put more of its art collection on view
August 12, 2015
Rasmuson Wing slated to open in 2017
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Anchorage Museum will add approximately 25,000 square feet to its existing building to create more exhibition space for its permanent art collection and art mission in an expansion slated for completion in 2017. Plans include adding one story onto the existing east wing that faces Sixth Avenue.
“This new expansion will help us better fulfill our mission of putting more of our art collection on view for visitors while allowing us to add to that collection, as well as adding gallery space for changing art exhibitions,” says Museum Director and CEO Julie Decker. “At the same time, we will also move forward on our long-term goal of renovating and updating the current Alaska Gallery, which explores Alaska through history and other disciplines.”
The new wing will house formal and informal galleries, offices, and a new member and donor lounge. “The museum’s last expansion, designed by David Chipperfield and completed in 2010, gave us the ability to house the Imaginarium Discovery Center and to take long-term loan of the Smithsonian’s Alaska Collection. These were key goals of the expansion, along with gaining gallery space to accommodate large traveling exhibitions from around the world and major exhibitions developed by the museum,” says Decker. “This expansion will provide for significant permanent exhibition space to allow the museum to put more of its collection on view and will create gallery space to accommodate art of the North and works by noted Alaska landscape artists, from historical to contemporary, including artists such as Sydney Laurence and Eustace Ziegler. It also provides space for rotating exhibitions and other art from the museum’s permanent collection, including contemporary Alaska Native art.”
Early construction estimates for the project are approximately $17.5 million, excluding increased operating costs and the planned Alaska Gallery renovation, which will occur at the same time. The new space will be named the Rasmuson Wing. The project will be privately funded with gifts from Ed Rasmuson and Rasmuson family members, and the Rasmuson Foundation. Increased operating expenses will be covered by earned revenues from admissions, facility rentals and other enterprise activities, along with increased funding from the museum’s endowment.
The museum will remain open during construction with only affected areas closed. The museum’s second-floor Alaska Gallery will close beginning July 2016 when work begins on the re-envisioned Alaska Gallery, which is slated to open in September 2017.
The Anchorage Museum selected Davis Constructors as general contractor to participate in the pre-construction design process with McCool Carlson Green of Anchorage as architects, in addition to other project consultants.
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to connect people, expand perspectives and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at anchoragemuseum.org.