Smith College's renowned Museum
of Art, art library and art department have a distinguished new home
-- the newly named Brown Fine Arts Center -- thanks to the completion
of a two-year, $35-million building renovation and expansion. At its
outset, the renovation was the largest capital project in the college's
Led by New York City-based Polshek Partnership
Architects, the renovation stripped the former 1972 complex
down to its steel girders and then rebuilt it entirely, transforming
its architecture and infrastructure. The art library and
department opened in September, 2002; the center's other
key occupant, the Smith College Museum of Art, opened in
New features of the 164,000-gross-square-foot
facility include a cutting-edge digital imaging center, updated ventilation
and environmental controls and improved galleries and art studios.
The Hillyer Art Library, regarded as among the best art libraries
at American undergraduate institutions, was significantly redesigned.
The new building features a greatly expanded technological infrastructure,
a dramatic aesthetic overhaul and improved amenities for students,
staff and visitors.
Total area: 164,000
gross square feet
Project cost: $35 million
Project architects: Polshek Partnership Architects, New York
Campus contacts: John Davis (Department of Art), Suzannah Fabing (Museum of
Art), Barbara Polowy (Hillyer Art Library)
Project manager: Charles Conant, Physical Plant Department
1998: Feasibility study
by the New York City-based firm Kliment and Halsband.
1998: The firm of Polshek Partnership Architects selected.
1999: Complex closed. Museum collections began to travel to venues around the
world for public exhibition during renovation.
2000: Construction began in June.
September 2002: Department
of Art and Hillyer Art Library
April 27, 2003: Museum of Art
"Image and Word:
Art and Art History at Smith College" is a comprehensive
history of the art curriculum and facilites at the college.
The 176-page cloth-bound book commemorates the opening of
the Brown Fine Arts Center. For more information, contact
the Museum Shop at (413) 585-2760.