Frequently Asked Questions
When did planning for the New Museum begin in earnest?
Discussion around the need for future expansion to better serve the community and the Museum’s educational partners into the future began in 2002 and significant planning began in 2005.
How will the expansion change the Asheville Art Museum?
Designed in partnership with Ennead Architects of New York and developed by ARCA Design of Asheville and the Museum’s active volunteer building committee, Trustees and staff, the expansion, preservation and renovation project will open the Museum to the community with a transparent and inviting 21st-century contemporary glass entry and art-filled, free-to-the public gallery and atrium, new state-of-the-art galleries for vibrant and changing exhibitions, first-class education, collection and visitor service facilities. New visitor circulation and signage will enhance the experience of exploration and spark creative thinking and expression. The expanded and renovated Museum will showcase, protect and interpret the growing Permanent Collection of American Art since 1860 and art of our time and place.
When did construction begin?
Initial construction began in 2014/2015 and is continuing to happen in carefully coordinated steps.
When will construction be complete and the New Museum open?
The new Asheville Art Museum is planning for a grand reopening in early 2019.
What will the New Museum look like? How will it relate to the current building?
World-renowned Ennead Architect’s design for the New Asheville Art Museum looks to the 21st century while honoring the structure and importance of the historic 1926 Pack Library building designed by Edward Tilton. The new glass entry will connect seamlessly, extending Pack Square Park. The project will create new art-filled, inspiring public spaces for visitors and the community. The project, including adaptive reuse, historic preservation and new construction in the center of the city, is green and sustainable. The construction of the Museum will be led by Asheville’s own ARCA Design and their team of expert consultants. Explore the design of the New Museum.
Will the Asheville Art Museum be closed? What about programs?
The Museum has moved out of its 2 S. Pack Square location to allow for construction and to keep our Permanent Collection safe and secure. We are continuing an active schedule of programming off-site with community partners across WNC. In addition, the Museum has opened a pop-up location at 175 Biltmore Avenue (Asheville Art Museum On the Slope) during construction to house the Museum Shop, education programs for all ages, and a small exhibition gallery.
What will happen to the Museum’s collections during construction?
The Museum’s Collection—which is held in the public trust—is being cared for in a few secure locations. Loans, traveling exhibitions and pop-up exhibitions and programs will continue to showcase works from the Collection during construction.