Published: Jan. 18, 2012

Formal dedication of Broad Art Museum delayed until fall

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The formal dedication of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, originally scheduled for April 21, will now occur in the fall due to a combination of material supply delays and the priority placed on involving students in opening activities.

The university will announce a new date for the formal dedication as soon as possible. Based on current assessments, the delay is not expected to change the budget for the construction project.

“We have an uncompromising commitment to assure the integrity of this powerful architectural statement,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “This is to ensure that integrity, which is an investment in the enduring impact the museum will have on the university, our students and faculty, the community, the state of Michigan and the art world. We’re pushing the limits for something extraordinary, and we will do what it takes to get it right.”

Plans will continue for a variety of opening events and inaugural exhibitions at the museum. Museum director Michael Rush is in the process of working with artists, partner museums and curators to adapt to the new opening timeline. One program is the launch of the Virtual Broad Art Museum early next month. A special, 3-D environment that reflects the new building will feature interactive artists’ projects from around the world. Closer to home, a series of site-specific art projects by Michigan artists will pop up around East Lansing in February, March and April.

“The delay won’t impact the quality of the works we bring to the public,” Rush said. “We’re looking forward to a world-class opening and exhibitions. In the meantime, several off-site projects and public programs will continue.”

Construction of this one-of-a kind design has progressed very well, according to Daniel Bollman, MSU design administrator. “But it is not unusual to have delays when completing a building of this complexity and magnitude,” Bollman said.

Specifically the glass panes being used have been engineered with stringent performance criteria and narrow tolerances. 

“If the panes don’t fit precisely in the field or are damaged during shipping, it takes some time for the supplier to manufacture replacements,” Bollman said.

The Broad at MSU is named for Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime supporters of the university who provided the lead gift for the museum. The Broads’ gift of $28 million, with $21 million designated for construction of the building and $7 million to be used for acquisitions, exhibitions and operations, was the catalyst for the project. The museum will feature more than 70 percent gallery space and room for large art works to be displayed.

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