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Museum changes afoot here, abroad

June 25, 2003|Louise Roug | Times Staff Writer

Visitors looking for certain works by John Singleton Copley, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer and Georgia O'Keeffe, among other artists, will need to go to a new address when Chicago's Terra Museum of American Art closes its doors on North Michigan Avenue in late October next year.

The organization that runs the museum, the Terra Foundation for the Arts, has announced that 50 of the most important paintings in the collection and all 350 works on paper will go on extended loan to the Art Institute of Chicago (less than a mile away on South Michigan Avenue), making the collection of American art there among the most important in the world.

"When combined, they provide one of the most comprehensive and outstanding surveys of American painting and works on paper in the nation," James N. Wood, director of the Art Institute, said in a statement.

The remainder of the collection will be available to the foundation and to the Musee d'Art Americain in Giverny, France, which the foundation also runs.

The current series of exhibits at the museum, "Modern Matters" -- about early Modernism in American art -- will continue until Oct. 31, 2004. The foundation has yet to decide what will happen to the building.

Meanwhile, people going to Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum -- home to Rembrandt's "Night Watch" and several paintings by Vermeer -- won't have to stand in line in lousy Dutch weather after the completion of a $230-million renovation of the museum.

The new design, by the Spanish firm Cruz & Ortiz Architects, is to include a grand entrance hall to shelter ticket buyers from the elements.

The makeover of the landmark, built in 1885 by Pierre Cuypers, will begin in the fall and is scheduled to be finished by 2008. During reconstruction, works in the collection will remain accessible through rotation to parts of the museum not under construction or loans to other museums.

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Times wire services contributed to this report.

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