Much of the wing will be dedicated to recently acquired paintings by the French Impressionist and leading American artists.
"There is no question that this museum has one of the best university collections in the United States," said Eric M. Lee, director of the museum, at a preview of the new limestone and glass facility designed by architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. "I believe that with our new building, we are going to give visitors a remarkable encounter with great art and great architecture."
The wing, named for philanthropists Mary and Lester Howard, provides 34,000 square feet of new space for the museum, which has just renovated and expanded its East Building to provide another 28,500 square feet of space for exhibition of American Indian and Southwestern Art and 19th and 20th century photography.
The University recently acquired the Aaron and Clara Weitzenhoffer collection of French Impressionist artists including a rare portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, a Paul Gauguin streetscape, and a Pierre Bonnard still life. The American collection is highlighted by works by Stuart Davis, Georgia O'Keeffe, Robert Rauschenburg, and Kiki Smith.
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