Shortly after Carol Vogel broke the news that Mitchell and Emily Rales are selling a prized Pollock at Christie’s this Spring, she profiles the secretive couple and their plans for a $125m expansion of their Washington, DC-area museum, compared to the Barnes Collection in vision by the Getty’s James Cuno:
Although it is only some 15 miles from downtown Washington, in the seven years it’s been open — three days a week, by appointment only — no more than 10,000 people have visited their eye-popping collection of contemporary art.
That figure is expected to multiply by a factor of 10. Plans are in the works for a major expansion that is said to be costing the couple upward of $125 million. Once it is completed in 2016, this enclave will become a more public place in which to see art and learn about architecture as well as the environment.
A three-minute stroll from the sleek 25,000-square-foot museum by Charles Gwathmey, the New York architect who died in 2009, will be a second museum, five times as big — the rough equivalent of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. Designed by Tom Phifer, another New York architect, it will feature a series of interconnecting pavilions for permanent installations, each devoted to a single artist, as well as a large gallery for special exhibitions. (The original museum building will also hold rotating shows.)
Plans also call for a new entrance similar to that of a national park, with a Japanese cedar entrance pavilion. Peter Walker, a Berkeley-based landscape architect, is planting more than 5,000 trees from 40 native species and creating a sustainable meadow along with a flowering water garden. “We’re out to create something different,” Mr. Rales said.
Oddly, the story makes no mention of the Pollock.
Like Half the National Gallery in Your Backyard (New York Times)