Mingei International Museum will reopen to the public on September 3, 2021, exactly three years after closing for a transformative construction project. The grand reopening will reveal a new and dynamic Museum with enhancements and improvements to the 1915 Spanish Colonial style House of Charm including the addition of 10,000 square feet of space for exhibitions and programming, a theater, education center and amenities including a bistro, store and coffee bar. The total finished square footage will be over 50,000. In partnership with Mingei, the nationally recognized firm LUCE et studio envisioned the Museum’s physical transformation focusing on artist collaborations, accessibility, functionality and well-crafted and inspiring design.
Learn more at mingei.org/transformation.
Dedicated to ‘art of the people’ (mingei) from all eras and cultures of the world, Mingei International Museum shares arts of daily life through dynamic, changing exhibitions of historical and contemporary folk art, craft and design. Mingei’s extensive collections and stunning exhibitions showcase the finest examples of creative expression from unknown craftsmen to renowned contemporary designers. Mingei celebrates the belief that everyday objects and materials that serve a useful purpose can also be objects of great beauty. The museum nurtures the belief that art can happen anywhere, in any culture, in any place, created by any person. Art of the World. Art of the People.
What to Expect When Mingei Reopens
The Commons level (main floor) of the Museum, accessible from the Plaza de Panama and Alcazar Garden, will be open and free to the public at all times. With a significant art installation of permanent collection objects, Shop Mingei, a new bistro, a walk-up coffee bar, and an outdoor courtyard, this “living room for the Park” will provide ample gathering space and a warm welcome to Park visitors. Opening a new entry point from west to east — connecting Alcazar Garden continuously through the ground-level open and public spaces to the Plaza de Panama —provides the public a sense of exploration and discovery.
The Gallery level (upstairs) will include newly configured, flexible gallery spaces totaling 15,000 SF, each with a sculpted plaster ceiling making reference to origami and reflecting light in a striking way. This level will also host Mingei’s Art Reference Library, the Founders’ Gallery, home to the Museum’s iconic Nakashima table, and two upper-level terraces overlooking the Plaza de Panama that have not been open to the public for many decades.
New architectural elements and spaces help activate and support the mission of Mingei. They include an annex featuring a 120-seat-capacity flexible Theater with a retractable 40-foot glass wall opening onto a new amphitheater with unobstructed views of historic Palm Canyon. It will also serve as a communal resource, available to partnering cultural institutions throughout the region. Its roof will become an outdoor Courtyard for informal gatherings, intimate outdoor lectures or programmed events.
Behind the scenes, the redesign will support best practices in art handling, registration and scholarly research. A new light-filled Education Center will provide a hub for students, educators and learners of all ages to engage in hands-on activities.
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