For Students

Building Project: Updates

University of Michigan Museum of Art Announces Temporary Location

Corner of S Forest Ave and S University Ave, the location of UMMA's temporary exhibition space.

The University of Michigan Museum of Art has announced that it will operate a temporary exhibition space—to be called UMMA Off/Site—at 1301 South University Avenue (at the corner of South Forest Avenue) from June 25, 2006 through mid-2008 while the Museum is under construction for its expansion and restoration project. Located immediately adjacent to the University’s Central Campus, near much off-campus student housing, and less than a block from the Forest Avenue parking structure, the open 4,000-square-foot space will house temporary exhibitions as well as a modest Museum store. The space will be leased from the First Martin Corporation.

“The Museum has been committed to maintaining its service to the University and the broader community as best we can during this important transitional period. I’m delighted that the Museum will be able to retain a lively Central Campus presence,” said UMMA Director James Steward. “The South University neighborhood is an especially vibrant student area, with easy access for the general public, and we look forward to engaging both communities energetically.”

The Museum will present four to five exhibitions per year in the temporary space. “The limited amount of space we will have available suggested that we look at a focused exhibition schedule that built on certain themes and artistic media,” according to Director Steward.

The first year’s slate of exhibitions focuses on photography and the moving image and will include proto-cinematic sculpture by New York artist Gregory Barsamian; Embracing Eatonville, a photographic survey of Eatonville, Florida, the oldest black incorporated town in the United States and the hometown of celebrated Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston; and Imagining Eden: Connecting Landscapes, a long-term study of idealized human-made landscapes by California artist Lyle Gomes.

Inside UMMA's temporary exhibition space.

Ten-foot ceilings and exposed brick walls will lend the space a more “downtown” ambience appropriate to the exploratory projects planned for the space, while remaining a sophisticated exhibition environment. Public hours will be adjusted in order to encourage more diverse social uses of the space and its exhibitions; additional evening hours are planned. More structured educational visits by University and K-12 classes will continue to be arranged and exhibition tours will be presented in the temporary space.

The dramatic nature of the restoration planned for the Museum’s current home in Alumni Memorial Hall requires that the existing Museum close for a period of over two years beginning in late June 2006. During this time, it is planned that Museum offices will be relocated to the University’s Rackham Building at 915 East Washington. For safety and preservation purposes, most of the Museum’s collections will be placed in storage for the duration of the construction period.

The $41.9 million building project expansion and restoration of Alumni Memorial Hall has been designed by architect Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture and will include a 53,000-square-foot addition, as well as the complete restoration and renovation of Alumni Memorial Hall, the elegant Beaux-Arts style building that has been the Museum’s home since its foundation in 1946. 

The University of Michigan Museum of Art is considered one of the finest university art museums in the country, with more than 17,000 works of art and an ambitious and diverse schedule of special exhibitions and educational programs. UMMA’s extraordinary Western, Asian, and African holdings include masterworks by such artists as Dürer, Monet, Picasso, and today’s avant-garde, along with well-known collections of Chinese, Japanese, and African art.