ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The Henry Luce Foundation recently awarded the Asheville Art Museum a prestigious two-year American Art program grant of $375,000 to support the reinterpretation and reinstallation of the museum's permanent collection and the first catalogue of the museum's collection of American art, which contains nearly 4,000 objects.
Scheduled for completion in spring 2018, these projects follow a complete update of the collection database and importantly they will anchor the re-opening of the New Asheville Art Museum following a major expansion and renovation. The project will result in increased accessibility to the museum's collections of American art, ranging in date from the late 19th century to the present, for students, scholars and the public; enhanced collaborations and interdisciplinary interpretation; and a larger role for the museum and its collections in Western North Carolina and the country. The grant also allows for two Luce Internships, which will provide valuable professional experience for students who are passionate about a career in the arts.
"We thank the Henry Luce Foundation for their longstanding support of scholarship and access to American Art," said Pamela Myers, executive director Asheville Art Museum. "The new museum and the new permanent collection installation and first catalogue of the collection will present extraordinary opportunities for longtime residents, newcomers and visitors to be inspired and engaged with art of America and art of the region.
The permanent collection installation and the catalogue of the museum's permanent collection will consider multiple and sometimes intersecting narratives in American art. Both the installation and the catalogue will focus on key aspects and strengths of the museum's holdings in all media and will provide a narrative framework within which visitors can interact with and experience works of art. The project will be organized to convey the multifaceted historical and contemporary stories of art and culture in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia set within the broader context of American aesthetic development. The project will tell the story of our area, explore our sense of place and its relationship to and national impact on the art world."
The permanent collection exhibition space will encompass approximately 4,000 square feet of new and expanded state-of-the-art galleries, which will form the core of the new museum. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will contain several hundred pages, including color illustrations. It will highlight significant works from the collection with entries and thematic essays by curatorial staff and members of the project team. The project team includes scholars with expertise specific to the strengths of the collection and the interpretive plan.
Additional information on the museum's collection, upcoming exhibitions and public programs, and the progress of construction of the new museum can be found at www.ashevilleart.org.