November 06, 2013 @ Queens Museum
The newly expanded Queens Museum, designed by London-based Grimshaw Architects, opened to a full house of supporters last night after a two-year, $69-million renovation. Current exhibitions range from contemporary Cuban art from the collection of Shelley and Donald Rubin to work by artists working in Queens and Taiwan, construction photographs by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, and installations by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes and theater director Peter Schumann.
"Having a museum with two hours of things to do makes people more willing to come," Queens Museum director Tom Finkelpearl told A.i.A. at the VIP reception. "We have a café, a bookstore, and twice the exhibition space. We now have a physical plant that reflects our mission of multicultural programming-a mix of cultural history, serious contemporary art and community programming."
Museum directors Thelma Golden, Jenny Dixon and Holly Block—along with gallerists Paula Cooper and Maggie Clinton, collectors Agnes Gund and Shelley and Donald Rubin, and artists Fred Tomaselli and Emily Harvey—joined the nearly 500 invited guests enjoying the opening night festivities, which included a feast catered by Amerivants and music by DJ Joro Boro.
"It's very exciting seeing the building done," said Grimshaw partner Mark Husser. "It's been a long road. Entering from the west side of the building and seeing right through this large cavernous space to the Unisphere was the whole concept-to link the broader community to the park through the museum. It's all about openness and community engagement."