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The Menil Collection Developments


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Masterpiece-450x254.jpg


should this prospective new expansion be constructed to this exact aforementioned scale... 


then houston shall once again become catapulted into basically every prominent national media design forum.


i can just barely take my eyes away from those illustrations...


 


 


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I love the scale and the sensitivity to light. They obviously learned something from spending time in Renzo Piano's spaces.

The scale is perfect for the neighborhood and will serve the works on paper very well. I'm so glad they chose this firm.

The building is beautiful, and seems to be actually designed for its true purpose, unlike some of the museums being turned out by some of the starchitects. Too many seem to think the building should be the art. That doesn't usually work very well for the art.

Not in this case.

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Riffing off of bobruss a bit... a prime example of Building Art is the giant V shaped tower at the deYoung in San Francisco, on what is otherwise a well scaled, organic, very attractive building.  OTOH, even though it's not self consciously Building Art, the Menil expansion certainly has its own sculptural qualities.

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I'm not even going to respond to bobruss right now, because one....at work, and two I'm going to go on a rant lol. I understand where he is coming from though. A museum is an opportunity for a building to become a work of art, but it shouldn't compete with what is inside. The latest example of a very well done museum is the Perot Museum of Natural Science in Dallas designed by a very good group of architects from Morphosis.

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Mollusk your absolutely right about the new drawing center, however I think they refrained from creating a space that was just about the building itself. I'm glad there is some interesting and challenging roof and ceiling changes. They just didn't go overboard.

I'm thinking of some of Gehry's latest attempts at art museums that are more about his structure than the  actual interior spaces that I've heard are difficult to curate shows in. I read an article that said it took a long time to finally come up with a solution for some of the Bilbao spaces and ended up using some of Richard Serra's large corten steel pieces. 

Thats why the Menil and especially the Twombly are so wonderful. He focused on the spaces where the art would be shown and created a unique design element to allow light to play such an important role.

In comparison the Rothko Chapel has never been as successful in my opinion due to the light issues.

They never have been able to solve that in this particular space.

Case in point. About six months ago they exhibited the extra set of Rothko paintings in the Menil and they looked  so much nicer in the Menils light. 

Just my opinion. 

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I'm not even going to respond to bobruss right now, because one....at work, and two I'm going to go on a rant lol. I understand where he is coming from though. A museum is an opportunity for a building to become a work of art, but it shouldn't compete with what is inside. The latest example of a very well done museum is the Perot Museum of Natural Science in Dallas designed by a very good group of architects from Morphosis.

Pretty sure you misread his post/yall are agreeing on the exact same things..

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  • 3 weeks later...

I received a letter from the chief operating officer of the Menil last nit and it said:

We want you to know that on December 18, we will begin demolition of the closed back section of Richmont Square

To create space for the Menil Drawing Institute!!!

I went in the back yard and took pics of the weapon of mass destruction preparing to be unloaded. Bryan as usual will

Download them for me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

For those who don't check the Arts sub forum.. The Menil Collection is bringing back exhibitions at the "Byzantine Fresco Chapel".. Sans the frescos of course. (I wonder if they are going to change the name of the building or if it's "stuck") a really neat sounding spacey exhibit kicks off the year long run of exhibitions in the chapel starting on saturday..

Edited by cloud713
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For those who don't check the Arts sub forum.. The Menil Collection is bringing back exhibitions at the "Byzantine Fresco Chapel".. Sans the frescos of course. (I wonder if they are going to change the name of the building or if it's "stuck") a really neat sounding spacey exhibit kicks off the year long run of exhibitions in the chapel starting on saturday..

Awesome news; thanks!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

At Neartown meeting the COO at Menil, talked about the Masterplan the Museum has made for the next 25 years. There were drawings of the present campus and what changes could be expected,-- most noticeable the continuation Main street-- lastly an artist rendering of what the campus would look like as viewed from Richmond Ave. 

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Edited by trymahjong
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For me, this is a fantastic project. Not only will I have a backyard view of the construction, but it will add to the wonderful collection of

museums, chapels and galleries surrounding my house. Its already an art lovers paradise and I can't wait for the drawing institute to open.

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...kicking myself for not buying a bungalow that area in the early 90s.  of all of the neighborhoods in houston, i would enjoy living within walking distance of the menil most.

 

 

Did you notice the one cottage/ lot on Main Street within the campus that isn't green? The Speaker acknowledged that the Museum had tried to purchase it (she seemed to indicate that the Museum continues to Purchase in the hopes of forestalling multiple town homes being built on lots within the campus) but that the cottage was exceptionally priced and the Menil couldn't justify that price for aquisition. Luckily for the Museum she went on--An individual bought it and is renovating it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ground Breaking in the morning. I believe it's at 10:00. Double check. Entrance behind oak in lot next to the Twombley.

I watched them set up the tent yesterday and Jackson Hicks set up late into the afternoon today.

Lots of sound checks. Should be a festive ceremony.

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The mayor and a cast of Houston's art elite were in attendance and it was a great day at the ground breaking.

Met architects Sarah Johnson she was really nice and Mark Lee and spoke with the dean of architecture from U of H. Spoke with

Gary Tinterrow from The MFAH and Joseph Helfenstein from the Menil. Both seem more than excited to be adding to Houston's collection

of great art venues. This building is going to be amazing. Can't wait till its finished.

I sent a picture of the official ground breaking that should be up later thanks to brjomang

Edited by bobruss
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  • 2 weeks later...
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With the MFAH and Menil expansions, opening of the Midwown art and theater center, art loft expansions in the FIrst Ward, etc. - I'm very hopeful Houston can work its way to becoming an "art hub of the South". We definitely have a leg up already on other major cities in the South, but we're still leagues behind cities like New York where you can't even put us in the same category. Hopefully the gap narrows. 

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Its better than it was back in the seventies. In the last three decades Houston, has made incredible strides in becoming a major art

force in the United States.

I believe we are third in the country in number of working artists and our galleries until the recent announcement of a couple of long

standing galleries eminent closings was by far more outstanding than any other city outside of NY, Chicago, and L.A.. Our art

institutions are as good as anyones. Fort Worth has great institutions also.

Just as New York is the art world center, Houston is the energy capital of the world.

You probably won't find nearly as many engineers in New York or Chicago as in Houston.

We probably won't ever come near New York's level of galleries institutions and living artists, because New York has the galleries the tradition, the institutions, and lots of very cultured and educated people who have a lot more disposable income and really support the arts and artists by buying their art. Houston is getting better but its not there by a long shot.

Its just like all of the performing arts. If you want to make it big you need to be in New York.

There are always exceptions. Talent usually rises to the top but you just have more panache if you make it in New York.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Photos and commentary courtesy of Bobruss: For those who might not realize how much goes into the structure and why it seems to take so long for these buildings to get out of the ground heres one of the reasons. This is just one 10 foot section of wall. If you’ve seen any of the other pictures in here you see how many reinforced walls there will be. Its amazing to watch these guys wearing multiple layers of heavy clothing several very heavy tool bags. At least two or three clamp on safety harnesses, helmets, towels over their necks and very thick heavy gloves. I sweat taking the pictures and am amazed at how they do it. 

 

When they’re working on one of the big walls they almost look like spiders building a web. I wish I could show some of the short videos I’ve shot. I send videos’s  to Johnston Marlklee out in L.A., about twice a week. They get a kick out of getting a first hand image.
 
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  • The title was changed to The Menil Collection Developments

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