Iowa city hires British museum architect

July 1, 2004 at 2:21 PM
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DAVENPORT, Iowa, July 1 (UPI) -- The board of the Figge Art Museum announced Wednesday it has retained British architect David Chipperfield to design its new $34.4 million museum building on the banks of the Mississippi River, scheduled to open in July 2005.

The announcement said the new 100,000-square-foot museum in downtown Davenport will replace an existing museum structure that is too small to display more than 2 percent of the Figge collection at any one time. The new construction is part of a $200 million civic development initiative to revitalize the city's waterfront.

The museum was founded in 1929 by the Figge family and boasts one of the nation's most important collections of American regionalist art that flourished in the 1930s. It is rich in works by Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood.

The new museum has been made possible by a $12 milllion gift from the V.O. and Elizabeth Figge Charitable Foundation.

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