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Commentary Detail

The Spaces Where the Arts Live in Our Region
Commentary by: Nancy Kranzberg
Aired July 06, 2012

There are many new architecturally significant buildings that have been built to house the arts in our city as well as several more about to open or are in the process of being renovated.

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, established in 1881 as the St.Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts. In 2004, the Museum was renamed the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum and linked to Washington University's newly formed interdisciplinary arts center, the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. The museum opened in its new building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki on October 25, 2006.

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts opened in 2001 with a building designed by internationally renowned architect, Tadao Ando. The building is located in Grand Center on Washington Avenue in mid-town St. Louis. The Pulitzer engages in a variety of programming including symposia, panel discussions, and a variety of student initiatives and events, as well as an ongoing collaborative chamber concert series with the St Louis Symphony.

Next door to the Pulitzer on Washington Avenue is the Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, now known as CAM. Brad Cloepfil is the architect. He is nationally known and has won numerous prestigious awards and honors. CAM is a non-collecting museum which presents cutting edge exhibitions. The museum is about to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

The magnificent Central Branch of the St.Louis Public Library System in downtown St.Louis was built in 1912 and designed by Cass Gilbert .It is in the process of a major renovation. George Nikolajavic, design principal for the Cannon Architectural Firm is the architect. The Library will reopen with it's beautiful facelift in late fall of this year.

Grand Center also boasts of the new St Louis Public Radio building, which is located next door to the Nine Network Building which isn't so old itself. That building was designed by Heather Woofter and Sung Ho Kim, both on the architectural faculty at Washington University. KDHX will open the doors to the Larry J. Weir Center for Independent Media in a very wonderfully renovated building by year's end.

Of course the St Louis Art Museum will showcase the London based David Chipperfield's elegantly understated 85,000 square foot new wing for the Neo Classical building designed by Cass Gilbert for the 1904 world's fair. The new building will open its doors in 2013.

And Laumeier Sculpture Park is back in action with exciting new world class exhibitions and is about to break ground for the Adam Aronson Galleries which will connect to the original estate house which now houses the art galleries.

The Sheldon Art Galleries is talking of a major art gallery expansion and The Eugene Field House and Toy Museum is also slated to have a major expansion.

St Louisans - take a look at all of this excitement in our city and know that we are moving right along in presenting the arts in beautiful new settings.

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

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Nancy Kranzberg

Nancy Kranzberg

Arts Aficionado Nancy Kranzberg has been involved in the arts community for some thirty years. She serves on numerous arts affiliated boards, including The St. Louis Art Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park where she is the Co-Chair, The Sheldon Arts Foundation and the Sheldon Art Gallery Board, Jazz at the Bistro, The Missouri Mansion Preservation Inc., The Mid American Arts Alliance, and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Nancy was named Women of Achievement and was awarded the Distinguished Alumnae Award at Washington University Nancy is a docent at the St. Louis Art Museum and is an honorary docent at Laumeier Sculpture Park. At age 60 she became a Jazz singer. She performs with the Second Half which features Chancellor Tom George on the piano.

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