October 1st, 2010 marked a transformative moment for The Mint Museum. The debut of the new Mint Museum Uptown – one year prior to the institution's 75th anniversary brings together the Mint Museum of Art and the Mint Museum of Craft + Design under one roof, double the permanent collection on view and hone the Mint's ability to attract and organize major traveling exhibitions.
"The debt-free completion of the Mint Museum
Uptown and the Levine Center for the Arts during a time of economic upheaval is a testament to Charlotte's unwavering commitment to the arts and its long tradition of philanthropy," said Executive Director Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson. "The scope of this ambitious cultural project is going to transform the way Charlotte
lives and catapult the Mint to national and international significance."
Designed by noted architectural firm Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the Mint Museum Uptown is the final attraction to open in the Levine Center for the Arts, located in the heart of Charlotte's business district. In addition to the Mint, this development includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Theater, along with corporate, retail and restaurant facilities.
Expanding The Mint Museum was one of the top priorities laid out in a master Cultural Facilities Plan developed by the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County in 2003. The 145,000-square-foot, five-story Mint Museum Uptown includes two full floors of galleries, each featuring 12,000 square feet of permanent collection space and 6,000 square feet of changing exhibition space. A dramatic multi-story atrium, named for the late Robert Haywood Morrison in honor of his foundation's generous gift to the Museum, will serve as a central hub of activity and features a 60-by 60-foot glass curtain wall offering spectacular views of the urban landscape. The building also includes a cafe, the Lewis Family Gallery, painting and ceramics studios, classrooms, a 240-seat auditorium, a Special Events Pavilion with outdoor terrace, and an expanded street-level Museum Shop.
The Mint Museum Uptown will house the internationally-renowned Mint Museum of Craft + Design, as well as American and contemporary art and select works from the European art collection. Following the opening of the Mint Museum Uptown, the Mint Museum Randolph, located in the historic Eastover neighborhood, will execute a strategic plan centered on the reinstallation of its galleries dedicated to the art of the ancient Americas, decorative arts, and historic costume, among others.
Two landmark exhibitions accompanied the grand opening of the Mint Museum Uptown. In New Visions: Contemporary Masterworks from the Bank of America Collection (1 October 2010 – 17 April 2011), The Mint Museum and Bank of America will collaborate to present an exhibition comprising more than 60 contemporary works. New Visions highlights the strengths of Bank of America's postwar collection and reveals a wide variety of artistic philosophies, approaches, and movements that extend into the early 21st century. The exhibition will feature paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from such major artists as Milton Avery, Jennifer Bartlett, Roger Brown, John Chamberlain, Janet Fish, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Elizabeth Murray, Louise Nevelson, Jules Olitski, Edward Ruscha, Miriam Schapiro, and Frank Stella. New Visions is organized by The Mint Museum, Charlotte, N.C.
, and provided by Bank of America Art in our Communities™ program.
Drawn from the collection of Diane and Marc Grainer of Washington, D.C., the exhibition Contemporary British Studio Ceramics: The Grainer Collection (1 October 2010 –13 March 2011) is the first comprehensive survey of contemporary British studio ceramics ever assembled. Comprised of functional and sculptural objects made between the 1980s and 2009, the show features work by 100 artists either born or residing in Great Britain, including established "contemporary classics" like Lucie Rie and cutting-edge ceramicists such as Julian Stair, Kate Malone, Neil Brownsword, and Grayson Perry. Contemporary British Studio Ceramics is organized by The Mint Museum and sponsored by Duke Energy. It will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Yale University Press, London.
The Mint Museum Uptown opened its doors to the public on Friday, 1 October with a 24-Hour Grand Opening celebration. The festivities kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:00 p.m., followed by a variety of activities for all ages.