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Addison Gallery of American Art to Reopen Oct. 8

The museum will reopen with a full schedule of exhibits and celebrations after being closed for several months to restore its roof.

The at will reopen to the public on Saturday, Oct. 8 with Christopher C. Cook and Lorna Bieber exhibitions followed by additional exhibitions opening Friday, Oct. 14.

In celebration of the reopening and of the museum's 80th birthday, the Addison is inviting the public to attend a festive evening, free of charge on Oct. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Brian Allen, the Mary Stripp and R. Crosby Kemper director of the Addison, said that he has missed seeing both the people and the art. "There is no substitute for the people," he explained.

The long closure was to do restoration on the 1931 roof which leaked.

Previously to a reopening last fall, the museum had been closed for two years to undergo an extensive restoration and expansion.  

Allen explained that the beautiful glass roof could not be duplicated because of today's building codes, so a new glass roof was constructed to lay on top of the original.

Now that all the construction has been completed, he said, "it is a gigantic relief." He explained that all improvements made to the infrastructure, including replacement of pipes, should be good for the next 20 years.

Looking forward to the reopening, Allen said, “There is a wonderful array of distinctive exhibitions debuting this fall at the Addison."

Opening Oct. 8, the exhibit, Clearstory Squares and Unitych Variations, is a collection of paintings by Christopher C. Cook. Cook was third director of the Addison from 1969-1989.

In addition, Fractured Narratives will showcase the works of photographer and 2009 Edward E. Elsen Artist in Residence Lorna Bieber. According to the museum sources, Bieber uses "found images and stock photographs as the raw material for her art" to create "momunmental photgraphs and wall-sized montages."

Opening Oct. 14, the exhibit, 80 @ 80 will present objects by about 80 artists and will celebrate the range and depth of the Addison’s permanent collection.

The objects range from well-loved favorites by artists, such as Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent, whose work first graced the Addison’s walls upon its 1931 opening, to 20th-century treasures by Edward Hopper, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Stella, and Robert Mangold, to exciting recent acquisitions of works by colonial silversmith Jacob Hurd and contemporary artists Jennifer Bartlett and Mark Bradford.

"It’s an opportunity for our visitors to see works they love and hopefully to discover new favorites," Allen explained.

The other two exhibits opening Oct. 14 are The Civil War: Unfolding Dialogues and the RFK Funeral Train Rediscovered: Photographs by Paul Fusco. 

According to Allen, the civil war exhibit of paintings, prints, photographs and videos drawn from Addison's collection is being displayed in conjuction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. It explores the ways that artists across time have understood and contributed to the ongoing and evolving narrative of that war.

The RFK Funeral train exhibit showcaes a collection of photographs by Look Magazine's Paul Fusco. Following his assassination, the body of Robert F. Kennedy was carried by train from his memorial service in New York City to Washington, D.C. for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Fusco took some 2,000 photographs from inside the train.

According to museum sources, Fusco's work is "heralded as one of the most powerful and affecting bodies of work in photographic reportage, and Fusco’s RFK series is an incomparable document of this tragic moment in United States history."

Adding to the festivities, the museum will hold their 80th Anniversay Gala on Thursday, Nov. 3. Allen explained it will be a tented event with cocktails, dinner and dancing.

Beginning Oct. 8, the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, will be open to the public from Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday 1–5 p.m. and closed on Monday. Admission to all exhibitions and events is free. The Addison Gallery also offers free education programs for teachers and groups.

For more information, call 978-749-4015, or visit the website.

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