Beginning March 5, the museum will close its contemporary, photography, and modern galleries (galleries 225-231), located on the second floor of the museum’s east wing to fix interior leaks in this area. It was during last winter’s cold spell that we found condensation forming on the exterior walls of the contemporary gallery wing, resulting in leaks inside the windows of the conservation labs. We have now identified the source of the issue which is the insulation between the outer and inner walls of this section of the East Wing. In order to remedy the issue, the galleries will be de-installed and closed to public access.
While the contemporary galleries are closed, David Franklin and the curatorial staff will take the opportunity to re-envision current configurations and create a more effective and dynamic presentation of the museum’s holdings of contemporary and modern art. The layout of the contemporary and modern galleries will be simplified, clarifying relationships between movements and genres. The footprint of the Cleveland gallery, which focuses on work by artists in Northeast Ohio, will be expanded to roughly double its current size. The location and size of the photography galleries are not changing, but these galleries need to close in order to accommodate the insulation work.
The museum will present works of contemporary art within key spaces throughout the museum’s campus. In the spring 2012, the “glass box” sculpture gallery will be used as a focus gallery to exhibit contemporary sculptures from the museum’s collection. Also beginning at this time is an ongoing project of relational hangings in galleries throughout the museum. Curators will work together to create pairs of related artworks from different collections to engage our visitors in new ways of seeing.
In August 2012, the galleries will re-open showcasing the innovative work conducted by our curatorial team, aligning with David’s vision for the modern, photography, and contemporary collections.