The Massachusetts College of Art & Design’s newly-minted MassArt Art Museum, branded as MAAM, offers audiences contemporary art immersion for free along Boston’s museum mile. Roughly the size of a boutique hotel, it presents art programming Kunsthalle style. As the product of a major architectural remodel, MAAM greets the public on the footprint of MassArt’s Paine and Bakalar Galleries. Its three inaugural exhibitions feature an eyeful of world-class installations to celebrate its emergence as a museum.
“When visitors enter the museum, they enter off of Huntington Avenue through the outdoor Arne Glimcher Plaza,” explained MAAM director, Lisa Tung. When asked about the dedication Tung replied: “We are very fortunate to have alumnus Arne Glimcher as a donor on this project and as a friend of the college. His involvement extends beyond the museum — he funded a scholarship for the graduate program, he has participated in studio visits and critiques, and gave a talk a few years ago at MassArt. His gift to the UNBOUND campaign was a first ever seven-figure gift to the college and his show of support was important to this campaign. To honor (the) gift, the new entrance (has been named) Arne Glimcher Plaza.” Glimcher is the founder of New York City’s influential Pace Gallery.
The museum metamorphosis involved straightening walls, opening up the ceiling and reconfiguring the entry and staircases. Elaborating, Tung said: “Upon entering (visitors can) either go directly upstairs to the second-floor gallery (where Joana Vasconcelos’ ‘Valkyrie Mumbet’ is currently installed) or they can go straight to the first-floor space to see ‘Game Changers: Video Games & Contemporary Art.’ (At) the first-floor gallery, they will see the Education Studio to the right as well as restrooms and the elevator.” Working under the name Ghost of a Dream, an artist duo has made the installation “Yesterday is Here” for MAAM’s lobby space. This elegant super graphic tribal patterned and dreamcatcher like design is on view until February 28, 2021.