Kirkland Museum celebrates its grand opening with ribbon-cutting ceremony

The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art celebrated the grand opening of its new building Saturday, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Hugh Grant, the museum’s founding director and curator, cut the ribbon after remarks by  Dean Sobel, director of the nearby Clyfford Still Museum.

The new $22 million building is attached to the original Vance Kirkland studio and art school building, which was moved to the new site from its original Capitol Hill location. The process of relocating the studio was prolonged and exhaustive, but it successfully made its journey down 13th Avenue and is ready to be admired by its new guests.

With its terracotta bars and shimmering, yellow glass panels, the new Kirkland Museum stands out at the corner of West 12th Avenue and Bannock Street. Designed by Seattle-based architect Jim Olson, it features numerous pieces installed in shatter-proof, UV-protected glass displays that double as windows.

A number of new pieces from the three collection areas, including international decorative art, Colorado and regional art, and the work of Vance Kirkland, were unveiled at the opening. An assortment of 15,000 paintings and an array of ceramics, sculptures and furniture are also displayed in the new building.

Some highlights from the museum’s six galleries include Kirkland’s namesake room, artfully stuffed with his vibrant, instantly recognizable “dot” paintings, and exemplary works from the iconic Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Art Deco and mid-century modern movements. Big-name national artists are represented — Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, Gio Ponti and Andy Warhol, among others — but also smaller regional and Native American artists.

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