The Menil Collection in Houston debuted its new building, the Menil Drawing Institute, on November 3rd, with an inaugural exhibition devoted to Jasper Johns. The Institute is being billed as the, “first freestanding museum facility built expressly for the acquisition, study, exhibition, conservation, and storage of modern and contemporary drawings.”
The 30,000-square-foot building was designed by Johnston Marklee in collaboration with landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, with a price tag of $40 million. Its debut show, “The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns,” features 41 drawings made by the influential American artist between 1954 and 2016.
Menil Collection Director Rebecca Rabinow said in a press release:
[A]rt is essential to human experience. From its inception thirty-one years ago, this museum has fostered direct personal encounters with works of art, and welcomes all visitors free of charge to its art buildings and surrounding green spaces. This quietly innovative architecture of the Menil Drawing Institute allows us to make drawing, the most personal of all artistic practices, accessible as never before, to artists, to scholars, to students, and to the public.
The Drawing Institute is the fifth art building on the Menil Collection campus, and the first added in more than two decades. The building’s opening was originally planned to occur more than a year ago, but its completion was delayed.