Robert S. Godlewski 2014-05-09 04:48:27
Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum a shining addition for Kennesaw State “Breathtaking. Gorgeous. Awe-inspiring.” Those were some of the comments overheard as Kennesaw State’s new Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art opened its doors in March to some 1,000 art lovers, students and community supporters. The remarks painted a picture of success for the grand opening of the $3 million museum, which had already received early acclaim from major media and national art publications. Inside and out, the Zuckerman Museum of Art is visually stunning. Designed by the architectural firm of Stanley, Beaman and Sears, the edifice features a soaring atrium with angled, multi-story glass panels that capture a wide expanse of northern exposure, providing excellent natural lighting for exhibitions in the atrium. The first thing many visitors noticed upon arriving at the gleaming, new landmark building on the north side of campus is how seamlessly it connects to the Don Russell Clayton Gallery and the Anna F. Henriquez Atrium located within the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center. The Bailey Center, which opened in 2007, is a massive 624-seat performance hall and home to the KSU School of Music. It hosts more than 150 performances each year in addition to rehearsals, seminars, recording sessions, and master classes for KSU music students and faculty. By adjoining the Henriquez Atrium, the Zuckerman Museum allows for the exhibition space to be expanded by approximately 5,000 square feet and makes it easy for visitors to move between the University’s performance and exhibition venues. AN ARTISTIC SHOWCASE The new museum, named for the late Bernard A. Zuckerman who died last year at age 91, exhibits the artwork of his first wife, sculptor Ruth V. Zuckerman. Pieces of her work have been displayed previously in various locations on campus, including the Henriquez Atrium, where concertgoers were able to view 18 of her larger works. A retired carpet industry leader and supporter of the arts in Atlanta, Bernard Zuckerman began the initiative several years ago to build the museum with a pledge of $2 million. An additional $1 million was raised through a variety of private gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations, including Atlanta’s Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and the KSU Foundation. Opening festivities included an appearance by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and first lady Sandra Deal, who helped cut the ribbon on the newest addition to the University’s arts district. The governor noted the cultural significance surrounding the construction of the 9,200-square-foot structure. “This is such a beautiful building here on the Kennesaw State University campus,” Deal said. “To the Zuckerman family with us here today, we say, ‘Thank you for making this possible.’ Sandra and I are so glad to be here to celebrate the opening of the new Zuckerman Museum of Art.” KSU President Daniel S. Papp said, “The Zuckerman is the first art museum to open in the University System of Georgia in 30 years and the first in the Atlanta area in more than a decade.” Papp acknowledged the members of the Zuckerman family attending the opening, including Zuckerman’s second wife Suzanne Siegel Zuckerman, Bernard’s and Ruth’s daughters Rowann Zuckerman Gilman and Laurel Bellon, and other family members. Papp praised the early efforts of KSU President Emerita Betty L. Siegel and Dean Emeritus Joseph Meeks, the founding dean of the College of the Arts, and others, adding, “Joe helped start this wonderful project and has been such a strong partner as it has come to fruition.” The Zuckerman Museum of Art unites the University’s permanent collection and galleries program, founded in 1984 by Roberta Griffin, professor emerita at Kennesaw State University. “The arts in Georgia encompass more than 17,000 businesses and 100,000 workers who provide artistic and cultural entertainment for Georgia residents and millions of tourists who visit each year,” Papp said. “The Zuckerman has just become the newest addition to this prestigious group of institutions.” REALIZING A DREAM Catherine Lewis, executive director of Museums, Archives and Rare Books, said the addition of the museum means KSU can continue to expand its engaged scholarship efforts. “As Pablo Picasso once said, ‘Everything you can imagine is real.’ And as you can see, this building is finally here, a real place to celebrate the visual arts,” said Lewis. “One might say the seeds for the museum’s founding were planted in the early 1970s when Bernie and his first wife Ruth moved to Atlanta from New York,” she explained, “so he could be closer to his work in the North Georgia carpet industry.” Ruth was a noted artist who made annual trips to Italy to select the marble for her sculptures, many of which she carved there. She had been preparing an exhibition of her work at KSU before she died. Other museums had approached Bernard about displaying Ruth’s work, but, as he stated several years ago, “I didn’t want any of the pieces to end up in a basement where no one could see them.” Following her death in 1996, Bernard donated more than 100 of Ruth’s works, including her notes, sketches and maquettes to KSU’s permanent art collection, so they could be enjoyed and studied by students and artists alike. “Bernie wanted to ensure his wife’s collection wouldn’t get lost in a larger collection,” said the museum’s director Justin Rabideau. “With his gift establishing the Zuckerman Museum of Art, he accomplished that and, in the process, also laid the foundation for an entirely new museum program.” FOUNDATION FOR VISUAL ARTS In addition to Ruth Zuckerman’s work, four other exhibits debuted during the March opening. “Through dynamic programming,” Rabideau said, “we will encourage the exchange of ideas that inspire, educate, and foster an appreciation of the visual arts in our community and the region.” According to Teresa Bramlette Reeves, the Zuckerman’s director of curatorial affairs, “The curatorial focus is on contemporary art and ideas, research and development of a diverse permanent collection, and multi-leveled programming that can reach a variety of audiences on campus, in metropolitan Atlanta and North Georgia, and in the Southeast region of the United States.” Reeves added, “Programming will draw from local, regional, national, and international artists and resources.” The ZMA Art Collection, under the care of the museum, is a repository for original works of art held in the public trust and serves as a valuable resource for research and education. The teaching aspect pleases the Zuckerman family, many of whom attended the museum’s debut. “My family and I are so pleased with the design of this space,” said elder daughter Rowann Zuckerman Gilman. “The architects really did a beautiful job with this and the way our mother’s work is displayed. The space is really neat for her work, because it allows people to get closer and to walk around and enjoy the pieces. My mother would have been happy with this, and my father, too.” Donors to the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art include: • Bernard A. Zuckerman • Robert W. Woodruff Foundation • LeoDelle Lassiter Jolley Foundation and Gordon and Malinda Jolley Morton • Price Gilbert, Jr. Charitable Fund • The Ray M. and Mary Elizabeth Lee Foundation, Inc. • Florence C. and Harry L. English Memorial Fund • Frances Wood Wilson Foundation, Inc. • David, Helen & Marian Woodward Fund The Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art encompasses several galleries. East Galleries : A part of the new Zuckerman Museum of Art building, these rotating gallery spaces will feature a wide array of temporary exhibitions. West Gallery: The West Gallery has been used to showcase highlights from the Permanent Collection and, most recently, housed the critically acclaimed Paper Moon exhibition. It is located in the ZMA's extension into the Bailey Performance Center lobby. Ruth V. Zuckerman Pavilion: A soaring glass atrium, the Ruth V. Zuckerman Pavilion highlights 40 years of its namesake's work from 1953 to 1993. Objects in the collection include significant sculptures in stone and bronze, photography, paintings, plaster maquettes and the artist's personal archives. Leo Delle Lassiter Jolley Collection Research Center: The Jolley Collection Research Center will be the new, state-of-the-art home for the KSU Collection within the Zuckerman Museum of Art. Fine Arts Satellite Gallery: Located in the Joe Mack Wilson Building next to the Stillwell Theater, the Fine Arts Gallery is ideal for solo exhibitions and can accommodate group art exhibits that are moderate or intimate in scale. It regularly features student exhibitions and the Annual Art Faculty Exhibition.
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