By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A long-planned renovation and expansion of the Philadelphia Museum of Art is still many years and hundreds of millions of dollars from being realized, but art lovers will have a chance to see what world-renowned architect Frank Gehry has in mind for the venerated landmark when the exhibit “Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art” opens there on July 1st.
Museum director Timothy Rub says the plan covers everything from updating electrical systems to adding 169,000 square feet of total space (including 78,000 feet of gallery space), all without altering the way the building’s looks from the outside.
“It’s one of the most widely recognized museums in the world and it’s full of wonderful and interesting spaces,” says Rub. “On the other hand, it’s a building that was designed nearly 100 years ago, at a time when museums worked in very different ways.”
“When this building opened in 1928, the collection was rather small,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “Today we have one of the largest collections of any museum in the United States, with nearly 230,000 objects, so there’s a lot more we could share with our visitors if we had the space to do so.”
But, Rub adds, Gehry has proved to be an excellent choice.
“We said to Frank, ‘There’s a lot to do here but, guess what, we have a landmark building that we really don’t want to change on the outside. So whatever you do, it has to be within the building itself.’ ”
Hear the extended interview in this CBS Philly podcast (runs 6:38) …