Art and History, like two siblings who’ve shared a room for years, finally get spaces of their own. It’s not that they’re incompatible; they actually share a lot in common and have great conversations. It’s just that each needs room to grow into their full potential while continuing the conversations—and we all get to benefit.
After years of planning, and considering various situations, the Sonoma County Museum Foundation proudly announces the expansion and official opening of its new Art Museum of Sonoma County. With the grand opening set for Saturday, April 11, 2015, the newly-created Art Museum of Sonoma County joins the renamed History Museum of Sonoma County, and the Sculpture Garden to span an entire city block of Seventh Street in downtown Santa Rosa.
Originally conceived as a history museum in 1985, the Sonoma County Museum’s collection quickly expanded to include paintings, sculpture and other works of art. Along with the growing collection and a desire for more programs, the need for expansion became increasingly apparent. To make room for everyone, a former carpet warehouse has been transformed into an expansive 4,500 square-foot contemporary art gallery featuring soaring twenty-foot ceilings, skylights, and museum specific environment controls. The new Art Museum is located at 511 B Street, just east of the historic post office building, its previous location. The former post office building will be solely dedicated to local and regional history, and renamed History Museum of Sonoma County.
The Sonoma County Museum Foundation will oversee the two semi-independent entities, while continuing their mission to celebrate and interpret the region’s rich history, art, and culture by exhibiting and collecting relevant objects and artworks, by serving as a vital community gathering place, and by inspiring visitors with dynamic experiences that engage, educate, and enlighten.
Future programs and exhibitions at the Art Museum of Sonoma County will feature artists who exhibit regionally, nationally and internationally. In addition, the Art Museum will offer public lectures, workshops, and other educational programming.
The Inaugural Art Exhibition will be on view from April 12 to May 25, 2015
The spacious gallery of the new Art Museum of Sonoma County will open its program schedule with an exhibition entitled, Andy Warhol to Kara Walker: Picturing The Iconic. On view will be 90 works loaned by collector Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. Andy Warhol to Kara Walker: Picturing The Iconic brings together a selection of modern and contemporary art prints around the concept of the “iconic.” the works in this exhibition highlight major currents in art over the past sixty years. Curators emphasize both the serious, with works that speak to feminism or race relations; and the playful, with work that pokes fun at American culture.
The opening exhibit will include work by artists John Baldessari, Mark Bennett, Mel Bochner, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Enrique Chagoya, Christo, Robert Cottingham, Jim Dine, Kota Ezawa, Shepard Fairey, MK Guth, Jane Hammond, Keith Haring, Arturo Herrera, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, David Levinthal, Roy Lichtenstein, Glenn Ligon, Nicola Lopez, Takashi Murakami, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Deborah Oropallo, Anton Perich, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg, Jim Riswold, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Roger Shimomura, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol.
Collector Jordan D. Schnitzer states, “I am pleased to offer this exhibit at the opening of the new Art Museum of Sonoma County. I encourage people to bring their children to enjoy this art. I can’t talk about art without reinforcing the importance of it being a family thing. By taking children to the Museum you create family time that prompts conversations.”
Grand Opening Weekend Events
The new Art Museum of Sonoma County will open with a gala celebration on Saturday, April 11, 2015 with a gala party from 7:30 to 11 p.m. The event is themed “Studio 54” to honor the artists whose work will be shown in the inaugural exhibition, and who defined the modern “Pop” era of American art, and to reflect the glittering New York club scene of the time. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their finest disco outfits, and follow the spotlight to the red carpet walk. DJs, disco balls and divas will help create the experience. There will be opportunities to view the opening exhibition and purchase art at a silent auction. Food will be provided by Stark & Company Catering. Tickets are $175 for members and $200 for the general public. For more information or to buy tickets visit their website, www.sonomacountymuseum.org.
Museums of Sonoma County
425 Seventh Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95401