June 9, 2011
A Model Museum
A polaroid from July of 1993 features a small scale model of the Weisman Art Museum interior, which opened in November of that year. This represented a huge step for the University Art Museum—after 59 years of being housed in Northrop Auditorium’s upper floors, and many false starts at finding funds for another building, the museum was about to move into a world-class architectural wonder.
I recently got a peek into the new WAM expansion that is currently under construction, and spotted a scale model very much like this earlier one, outlining the gallery configuration and placement of art. The expansion will allow the museum to display more than three times as many objects from the permanent collection. Indeed, the “Little Gallery” has come a long way.
In the same file as the polaroid, I also found a set of blueprints for the Weisman Art Museum from the early 1990s. The most fascinating part to me was the tangle of lines and angles that illustrates the side facing the river—rather unusual in a blueprint, I would imagine.
Areca Roe is a MFA graduate from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Art, with a concentration in photography and minor in Museum Studies. Areca completed her project involvement in Fall 2011, and has subsequently been involved with the University as an artist in residence at the University’s Bell Museum of Natural History.