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Currier Museum of Art
ManchesterNH CurrierMuseumExterior.jpg
Established October 1929
Location 150 Ash Street, Manchester, New Hampshire
Type Art museum
Collection size 12,000 works
Visitors 60,000 (2011)
Director Susan Strickler
Curator Andrew Spahr and Kurt Sundstrom
Public transit access Manchester Transit, Route 7, stop at Prospect and Beech
Website Official Website

Coordinates: 42°59′52″N 71°27′21″W / 42.99778°N 71.45583°W / 42.99778; -71.45583

This is a test page for the Currier Museum of Art page update.[edit]

The Currier Museum of Art is an art museum in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA, which opened in 1929. In 2006, the museum closed for a major expansion project, opening back up in March of 2008. Along with the main building, the museum also owns: the Kennard House, home to museum offices; the Currier Art Center, a converted women's home that is now home to more than 12 artist studios and offers classes seasonally; and the Zimmerman House, an original Frank Lloyd Wright home and the only public Wright house in New England[1].

With a 12,000 piece collection, it is one of the oldest and largest museums in New Hampshire. The museum's collection spans much of American and European art, with a special focus on early 20th century paintings and a vast collection of New England artists.

History[edit]

Moody Currier, Governor of New Hampshire from State Builders.jpgHannah Slade Currier of New Hampshire from State Builders (cropped).jpg
Museum founders Moody and Hannah Slade Currier

The museum, originally known as the Currier Gallery of Art, was founded in 1929 from a bequest of former New Hampshire Governor Moody Currier and his third wife, Hannah Slade Currier. Currier, who died in 1898, placed in his will for the establishment of an art museum. Hannah managed the estate until her own death in 1915, allowing for sufficient funds for the project. The museum is located on the site of the former Currier estate.[2]

After Hannah Currier's death, a board of trustees was appointed to carry out the Curriers' wishes. Multiple architectural proposals were entertained but the project was not awarded until 1926 to the New York firm of Tilton and Githens.[3] Tilton and Githens designed a Italian Renaissance architecture styled palazzo with natural lighting coming from the atrium and galleries branching off.

Main Atrium of the Museum, with The Crest of the Wave by Harriet Frishmuth

The gallery finally opened in October 9, 1929. The first director was Maud Briggs Knowlton, one of the first women to be a museum administrator in the United States.[3][4] Many early exhibitions were loaned to the Currier, as the permanent collection only contained about 100 paintings and commissioned portraits of the Currier family. Knowlton brought many regionalist artist shows into the museum, including Grant Wood, Andrew Wyeth (his first solo show being at the Currier), and Reginald Marsh. Knowlton also helped foster an appreciation of local artists within the museum, which still continues today.

In 1939, the museum purchased the Kennard House, a late 1860's home, that they converted into studio spaces for art classes. The house opened in the fall of 1939 for its first classes, but closed in 1943 due to World War II creating a lack of staffing. It reopened temporarily in 1945, before opening in full in 1948 as the Currier Art Center. [2] The Art Center is still operated today as part of the museum.

The Currier formerly owned the Alpheus Gay House, a 1869 Italianate villa in located in Manchester. From 1980 to 1999, the Currier Museum owned the Gay House, using it for overflow offices. It was petitioned and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[5] A preservation easement was placed on the property to protect its architecture before the museum sold it to a private party.[2]

First Expansion[edit]

In 1980, the museum underwent its first, long-awaited expansion project. The architectural firm, Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, used cues from the museum's existing Italian design tradition to keep a harmonious balance with the rest of the building. The expanded museum opened in April of 1982. The expansion added new gallery, storage, and exhibition preparation spaces and an improved auditorium. A new entrance with a courtyard was added and allowed room for automobiles and a wheelchair-accessible front. The two new pavilions added 60 percent more gallery space and allowed for the showing of large-scale pieces that did not fit in the original museum space. [2] Along with the expansion, the original building was renovated starting in 1982 and was completed in June 1983.

Name Change[edit]

On October 13, 2002, the Currier Gallery officially changed its name to the Currier Museum of Art, because, in the words of director Susan Sticker, it "recognizes the Currier’s true mission and clarifies our function for those less familiar with us."[6] The museum used a rebranding campaign focused on art and education as the mission of the museum, along with the name change, to become more accessible to the public. New signs were erected to make the Currier a more recognizable landmark in the public eye. [7]

2006 Museum expansion[edit]

On June 30, 2005, as part of the first phase of major renovations, a moving firm moved the historic Kennard House from Beech Street to Pearl Street, right behind the new home of the Art Center. The museum proper closed on June 27, 2006 for the duration of a $21.4 million expansion. The construction took 21 months, and the museum reopened to the public as scheduled on March 30, 2008.[8]

The museum commissioned Ann Beha Architects, who desired to keep the charm of the small museum, while working to expand the collection space. The expansion was worked on both sides of the building, encapsulating the 1929 façade into an interior space, while also working the North side of the building between the 1982 expansion as a new reception area. Keeping the Main Atrium as a center point of the building, they removed the original formal garden and reflection pool in favor of the new gallery's locations. [9]

The 33,000 square-foot addition opened up two major new gallery spaces, and allowed for 50% more work to be shown. One gallery is dedicated to New Hampshire and New England contemporary artists, and the larger gallery is reserved for national exhibitions. The new Winter Garden is both a cafe and an atrium that showcases the 1930 Salvatore Lascari mosaic at the old South Entrance of the museum, and a response by artist Sol LeWitt on the opposing wall, completed after his death in 2007, called Whirls and Twirls. The new expansion also added a new north entrance with a gift shop, two classrooms, a 180-seat auditorium, and a new plaza on the North side of the building, where Mark di Suvero's Origins stands 30' tall over the entrance. [10] 45,000 visitors saw the new expansion in the first 4 months of opening.[11]

The addition and renovations received a 2008 Design Honor Award from the New Hampshire chapter of the American Institute of Architects, as well as a "People's Choice Award" through the AIA.[12]

Collections[edit]

The Currier holds 12,000 pieces of art, specifically focusing on American and European art.

Ann and Harte Crow Print Collection[edit]

In 2009 the Currier received a gift of 39 works on paper from Ann and Harte Crow, donors from New Hampshire. The donation includes examples of regional artists Grand Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and Paul Sample. The gift also included paintings by Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, Paul Sample, Neil Welliver and Jane Freilicher.[13]

Henry Melville Fuller Paperweight Collection[edit]

The museum also has an extensive paperweight collection, donated by major donor Henry Melville Fuller. The collection has 330 pieces, with a wide variety of creators represented in the collection. The collection includes examples from French glass houses of Baccarat, Clichy and Saint-Louis and works by twentieth-century artists including Paul Ysart, Charles Kaziun, Paul Joseph Stankard, Delmo and Debbie Tarsitano, and Rick Ayotte. [13]

Lotte Jacobi Photograph Collection[edit]

Lotte Jacobi (1896-1990) is regarded as a leading figure in twentieth-century photography. The Prussian-born artist moved to New York in 1935, and in 1955 she moved to Deering, New Hampshire. Jacobi is best known for her photographs of famous men and women, many who were tied to the New England area. The Currier currently holds 400 works by Jacobi. This collection is only surpassed by the Jacobi collection at the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum. [13]

Highlights from the Permanent Collection[edit]

Zimmerman House[edit]

The Zimmerman House

The museum operates tours of the nearby Zimmerman House a Usonian House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is complete with the original furnishings and the owners' fine art collection. The Zimmerman House is the only Wright-designed house in New England open for public tours, which are offered March–December.

The Isadore J. and Lucille Zimmerman House was designed in 1950 by Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959), one of America’s greatest modern architects. Wright designed the house, the interiors, all the furniture, the gardens, and even the mailbox. In 1979, the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1988 Dr. and Mrs. Zimmerman left the house to the Currier Museum of Art, then the Currier Gallery of Art. In 1990 it was opened to the public. The house not only includes Wright's building but also the Zimmerman's unique collection of modern art, pottery, and sculpture, which are displayed as they were in the 1950's and 1960's. [14]

Art Center[edit]

The Currier also owns the Currier Art Center, where it offers art classes year-round for children, teens, and adults. The Art Center opened in 1939 in the Kennard House and was moved in 2003 to its newest location on 180 Pearl Street. The Art Center offers classes from 20 different professional teachers and artists, and offers a variety of classes in mediums such as jewelry-making, oil painting, printmaking, drawing, and fiber arts.[15] The faculty puts on an exhibition in the museum every year, giving students a chance to see the art practices of their teachers. [16]

Administration[edit]

The Currier Museum of Art is a 501(c)(3) corporation which is governed by director and CEO Susan Strickler, Board of Directors President David A. Jensen, a 20-member Board of Trustees, and a 36-member Advisory Council.

Mission[edit]

The Currier Museum of Art is committed to providing stimulating, diverse, and enjoyable encounters with original works of art and, in doing so, hopes to inspire the hearts, minds and imagination of its members and visitors. The museum provides the public with opportunities to learn about the past, appreciate and evaluate the present, and contemplate the future.



The Currier brings to its fundamental mission exceptional holdings of art and architecture, primarily American and European. The museum is dedicated to high standards of exhibition, preservation, research, interpretation and enhancement of this collection. Cultural and educational programs of high quality and often national significance are offered.

The Currier is determined to serve all age groups and a culturally varied audience from New Hampshire and the surrounding region. The museum aims to be a leader in developing innovative learning experiences that increase people’s understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the arts and humanities. The Currier’s vitality depends upon its responsiveness to changes in the arts and in society while maintaining a sound financial base on which to expand its activities.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zimmerman House". 
  2. ^ a b c d Eaton, Aurore Dionne (1990). The Currier Galler of Art: A History 1929-1989. Manchester, NH: Currier Gallery of Art. pp. 65–69. 
  3. ^ a b "A New England collection on tour - 'American Art from The Currier Gallery of Art'". Magazine Antiques. Brant Publications, Inc. December 1995.  [dead link]
  4. ^ "Currier Gallery of Art". American Art Directory. R. R. Bowker Company. XXXII: 242. 1935. ISSN 0065-6968. 
  5. ^ [pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/82001682.pdf "Alpheus Gay House National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form"] Check |url= value (help) (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "New Currier Museum Campaign Boosts Visibility". Currier Museum of Art. Archived from the original on October 22, 2002. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  7. ^ "New visibility gives boost to Currier". Derry News. 25 September 2002. 
  8. ^ "Currier Museum planning reopening". The Boston Globe. 2008-01-20. 
  9. ^ Mays, Vernon. "Currier Museum of Art". Architect Magazine. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Museum Expansion". Currier Museum of Art. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "Campaign for the Currier Final Report" (PDF). Currier Museum of Art. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "2009 AIANH Excellence in Architecture Design Awards". American Institute of Architects New Hampshire. Retrieved 7 August, 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13. ^ a b c "Currier Collections Online - Notable Collections". Currier Museum of Art. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  14. ^ "Zimmerman House". Currier Museum of Art. 
  15. ^ "About the Art Center". Currier Museum of Art. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Currier Museum Art Center Faculty Exhibiton". WhoFish. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "History and Mission". Currier Museum of Art. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 

External links[edit]

Category:Edward Lippincott Tilton buildings Category:Art museums in New Hampshire Category:Museums in Manchester, New Hampshire Category:Institutions accredited by the American Association of Museums Category:Art museums established in 1929 Category:1929 establishments in the United States