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MassArt Announces the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM)

MassArt Art Museum Logo

boston's new free contemporary art museum, opening february 2020 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 --- Today, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) announced that the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), Boston’s new free contemporary art museum, will be opening in February 2020. Formerly known as the Bakalar & Paine Galleries, the space will reopen after extensive renovations with a new name and brand and an expanded mission. The renovation is supported by MassArt’s UNBOUND capital campaign, which raised $12.5 million to fund the project.

The MassArt Art Museum will continue the Bakalar & Paine Galleries’ legacy of offering an accessible contemporary art experience for all audiences and partnering with emerging and established artists to bring fresh, diverse perspectives to Boston. A teaching museum, MAAM will be a resource for MassArt students and faculty, educating students about contemporary art, partnering with faculty to support the curriculum, and preparing students for careers in the museum field. The Museum will be a vital resource to the community, offering a pathway to education in the arts and free, unique educational programming to Boston-area public schools and community groups. 

The renovation project to fully transform the 15,000 square foot museum space within the original 1906 campus building is being led by designLAB Architects and Dimeo Construction. The renovations will improve public access to the Museum with a new front entrance on Huntington Avenue, as well as an elevator and enhanced visitor amenities. New climate and relative humidity control systems will allow for year-round programming for the first time, with the addition of a summer exhibition season. The renovated space will also allow the curatorial team greater flexibility to program a wide range of contemporary art, from immersive, large-scale site-specific installations to delicate works on paper. 

MAAM will also open with a new outdoor space, the Arne and Milly Glimcher Plaza, which will provide opportunities for programming beyond the walls of the museum. Additional facilities such as a dedicated gallery education studio, a state-of-the-art preparatory workshop, and curatorial offices will also enable the Museum to better fulfill its mission. Museum construction began in June 2017 with the creation of the new exterior plaza and the final phase of interior renovations began in the summer of 2018.

"Our primary goal has always been to show what’s new and to make contemporary art accessible to everyone, and the MassArt Art Museum will make that truly possible," said Lisa Tung, Executive Director of the Museum. "We have reimagined the museum-going experience to create an inviting and welcoming place for all our visitors, offering a richer engagement with exhibitions and programming. Our artists will also feel supported to realize their vision, and our students will be invited into the process to learn from the professional artists they aspire to be."

"MassArt has a longstanding legacy of making an art and design education accessible to a diverse audience," said MassArt President David Nelson. "The MassArt Art Museum offers us an opportunity to introduce contemporary art to some members of our community for the first time. I am deeply grateful to our generous donors who have shared our vision and helped us to create the Commonwealth’s free contemporary art museum. In this space we will be able to inspire the next generation of MassArt students and art enthusiasts, and encourage longtime art lovers to consider new artistic perspectives and practices."

For its new brand, MAAM partnered with the Boston-based design firm Moth Design, founded by MassArt alumna Tammy Dayton, and 43,000 Feet, a brand messaging and content firm. The MAAM brand identity embodies the values and spirit of the Museum: welcoming, vibrant, fun, and a bit unexpected.

MassArt Art Museum Logo, Pink with Fill    MassArt Art Museum Logo, Blue with fill

Preview more samples of brand execution in the press kit and visit the Museum’s new web presence at maam.massart.edu. Follow MAAM on Instagram @MAAMBoston. View and download high resolution renderings in the press kit.

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about the unbound campaign

In September 2018 MassArt announced the completion of the UNBOUND campaign to renovate the Bakalar & Paine Galleries, having raised $12.5 million and surpassing the fundraising goal of $12 million. The MassArt Foundation kicked off the public phase of the UNBOUND campaign in May 2016 with a $1 million gift from Pace Gallery founder and MassArt alumnus Arne Glimcher (BA ‘60, Painting). The campaign received two additional seven-figure gifts. Among the foundations that supported UNBOUND are The 1434 Foundation, Cabot Family Charitable Trust, Hearst Foundations, and Mabel Louise Riley Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund from the City of Boston and many individual donors.

about lisa tung, executive director 

Lisa Tung is the Executive Director of the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM), formerly the Bakalar & Paine Galleries. Tung and her exhibitions have received numerous awards, including Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston: Best Curator and she is a 2019 Boston Arts Academy honoree. A vital member of the Greater Boston arts community, Tung is a member of the Boston Art Commission and a board member of the non-profit public art organization Now + There. She has served as a nominating committee member for The Rappaport Prize at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and the Maud Morgan Prize at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Later this year she will serve on the national nominating committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. for its 2020 installation of "Women to Watch." Tung received her B.A. in Art History from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Feminist History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of Leeds, UK.

ABOUT MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is a public, independent institution that prepares artists, designers, and educators from diverse backgrounds to shape communities, economies, and cultures for the common good. One of the top colleges of its kind in the United States since its founding in 1873, MassArt has built a legacy of leadership as the first freestanding public college of art and design in the country, and the nation’s first art school to grant a degree. The College offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in art, design, and art education, all taught by world-class faculty. MassArt is also home to the MassArt Art Museum (MAAM) opening February 2020. Formerly the Bakalar & Paine Galleries, MAAM is MassArt's free contemporary art museum, professionally curated to enrich the academic curriculum and make contemporary art an accessible experience for all. Among MassArt’s most accomplished alumni are designer Brian Collins, multimedia artist Sam Durant, art dealer Arne Glimcher, Oscar-winning set designer Nancy Haigh, visual artist and composer Christian Marclay, 2016 Project Runway winner Erin Robertson, interior and lifestyle designer Kelly Wearstler, and conceptual artist William Wegman. To learn more, please visit massart.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT

Susie Stockwell, Director of Public Relations
sstockwell@massart.edu • 617.879.7066