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Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

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Beach Museum of Art
Kansas State University
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Manhattan, KS 66506


Architects’ Sketchbooks Exhibition and Two Lectures on the Expansion of the Nelson-Atkins

October 13, 2002 – December 22, 2002

A striking exhibition of evocative drawings by internationally renowned architects who were competition finalists for the design of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art expansion were shown at the Beach Museum of Art during the fall of 2002.

Architects’ Sketchbooks opened 13 October and concluded 22 December 2002. The exhibit included the design proposals of three distinguished American architects based in Boston, New York and Houston, and by three illustrious architects whose practices are in Osaka, Zurich, and Paris. Until now the exhibition has been shown only at the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City where it premiered and attracted large, admiring audiences throughout its run.

In conjunction with the show, architect Steven Holl of New York, whose bold design proposal was selected by the museum and is now under construction, visited Manhattan and delivered a public lecture in Forum Hall of the Kansas State Student Union at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday evening, 13 October 2002.

Acclaimed for his masterful command of light and space, Holl was described by the New York Times in 1999 as “pre-eminent among a generation of architects emerging from the long shadow of architects like Frank Gehry, Peter Eisenman and Richard Meier.” Two years later Holl was named America’s best architect by Time magazine and praised for designing “buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye.”

Located on the east side of the museum’s magnificent 1933 Beaux-Arts building, the expansion is largely composed of subterranean spaces poetically surfacing in a series of five irregularly shaped glazed boxes, or “lanterns,” which punctuate the gardens to the east of the museum and diffuse natural light into the vaulted galleries below. At night, light from the galleries will glow softly through the lanterns. The new building preserves the view of the landmark structure’s monumental limestone facades and skillfully merges architecture with the landscape.

A web page devoted to information on the Nelson-Atkins, its expansion, and to the work of Steven Holl has been prepared by the Paul Weigel Library of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design.

Working closely with Holl and with the Nelson-Atkins is BNIM, the award winning Kansas City architectural firm selected as the architect of record for the project. 1974 Kansas State University architecture alumnus, Casey Cassias, a partner in the firm, and Rebecca Young, Chief of Exhibition Design at the museum, have collaborated in the design of the Noguchi Court and other new gallery spaces for the Nelson-Atkins expansion. Their 7:30 p.m., Wednesday evening, 30 October 2002 illustrated presentation at the Beach Museum, “Making Places for Art,” is open to the public without charge.

The exhibition and the lectures by Steven Holl, Casey Cassias and Rebecca Young are organized by the Beach Museum and the KSU Department of Architecture in cooperation with the Nelson-Atkins and with the financial support of the Oscar Ekdahl Memorial Lecture Fund, The American Institute of Architects/Flint Hills, and the KSU Fine Arts Fee.