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MEDIA RELEASE
July 29, 2014
Media Contact: Julianna Verboort, 253.272.4258 x3011 or JVerboort@TacomaArtMuseum.org

CLOSED FOR A DECADE – WHAT WOULD REMBRANDT SAY? AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY TELLS ALL

(Tacoma, WA) – The name Oeke Hoogendijk doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue here in Tacoma, but don’t let that deter you from seeing the Dutch director’s acclaimed 2013 documentary The New Rijksmuseum, screening at 2 pm on August 10 at The Grand Cinema at 606 S Fawcett Avenue. This epic tale is a treat for anyone with an interest in art, architecture, film or history. The Grand Cinema has smartly connected the film to local revitalization, introducing the film with a 20-minute presentation by Stephanie A. Stebich, Director of Tacoma Art Museum and Kirsten R. Murray, Principal and Owner at Olson Kundig Architects, about Tacoma Art Museum’s expansion project. Fans will want to plan ahead for the one and only Tacoma showing of this film.

Located in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands and world-renowned for its collection of more than 1 million Dutch, European, and Asian objects dedicated to art, history, and craft. The museum’s admirable array of masterworks tells the history of Europe and beyond, from the middle ages through today. Hoogendijk’s documentary film shares the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of what happened when the Rijksmuseum needed to renovate. Tacoma Art Museum is experiencing a revitalization and renovation too, bringing the new Haub Family Collection of Western American Art into a collection of 4,450 primarily Northwestern artworks, and building a new Olson Kundig Architects-designed wing that doubles the museum’s gallery space along with other building improvements. TAM’s building expansion opens November 15, 2014.

If you have experienced even the smallest renovation project, you’ll know that unexpected findings, challenges and delays are par for the course. Imagine the logistics involved at the scale of more than 322,000 square feet in a 130 year old historic building filled with some of the art world’s greatest masterpieces, enduring the building restrictions and permitting processes happily complicated by layers of jurisdictional bureaucracy. Understand this, and you’ll understand why the story is concisely relayed in two parts, each nearly two hours long. The Grand Cinema has built in an intermission during the screening.

“The story of the Dutch national museum being renovated and restored with such careful attention to the rich history, all captured on film, sounded like an intriguing movie. With the critical acclaim it has received, we knew we wanted to bring it to our audiences at The Grand Cinema,” shared Faith Stevens, Project Coordinator at The Grand Cinema. “We endeavor to take every opportunity to partner with local arts and cultural organizations, and Tacoma Art Museum was a perfect fit, as they are also undertaking a large construction and renovation project. With this film event, we can pull back the curtain a bit and give our audiences a peak at the vital and often overlooked work that goes on with a project like this.”

While plenty of drama unfolds around the architectural design, the aesthetic combination of old and new, the physical building process and the permitting paper trail, there is another equally compelling story around re-visioning the inner workings of the museum: the evolution of the curatorial process for the million-object collection. How do curators with personal passions and stakes in the game work together to decide which objects are most relevant, most interesting, and will successfully convey concepts in art and history to visitors of every age, nationality, and ability? How are those objects most adeptly protected, displayed and described? What should the museum do to reinvent and enrich its relationship with visitors? Did they find the answers to these and other challenges? Spoiler alert: yes. Upon reopening, the museum hosted more than 2 million visitors during the first year, doubling its average annual attendance.

As Slant Magazine’s Nick McCarthy describes, “’The New Rijksmuseum’ is an epic fly-on-the-wall investigation of a prominent institution… the doc efficiently condenses its decade-long timeline, placing the audience in the midst of democratized backroom verbal brawls as if they were another administrator or civilian offering an opinion on how the museum should be realized.” Steven Boone of Roger Ebert.com explains, “’The New Rijksmuseum’ proves that films can describe nuances of character and situation as finely as the finest novel or creative non-fiction… The camera singles out striking details: The tapping feet of museum executive staff, conveying anxiety over deadlines and budget problems from under the conference table… the delicate brush and chisel strokes of restorers attempting to bring ancient artworks to life without damaging their surfaces.”

As you experience the lows and highs of the renovation and the rapture of the artwork coming home to the Rijksmuseum, keep in mind the excitement that is building in your own backyard with Tacoma Art Museum; this community can look forward to a grand reveal in November. But first, book your tickets to enjoy The New Rijksmuseum at The Grand Cinema (one screening only, 2 pm August 10).

The film event is sponsored by The Grand Cinema in partnership with ARCADE, Olson Kundig Architects and Tacoma Art Museum.

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For more information about Tacoma Art Museum, contact Julianna Verboort, Public Relations and Communications Manager, at  253.272.4258 x3011 or at JVerboort@TacomaArtMuseum.org.
For more information about Olson Kundig Architects, contact Matt Anderson at 206.624.5670 or atMatt@OlsonKundigArchitects.com.
For more information about the film or The Grand Cinema, contact Faith Stevens, Project Coordinator, at 253.572.6062 or at faith@grandcinema.com.
For more information about ARCADE, visit http://arcadenw.org/about or contact Kelly Rodriguez, Executive Director and Editor at kelly@arcadenw.org

About Olson Kundig Architects
Olson Kundig Architects is a Seattle-based architecture studio that is led by four owners: Jim Olson, Tom Kundig, Kirsten R. Murray, and Alan Maskin. The 95-person office specializes in a range of projects both nationally and internationally, including museums and exhibit design; residential projects; mixed-use buildings; academic and civic projects; cultural centers; places of worship; urban design; and interior design. www.OlsonKundigArchitects.com.

About Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma Art Museum serves the diverse communities of the Northwest through its collections, exhibitions, and learning programs emphasizing art and artists of the Northwest. The museum has a permanent collection of more than 4,450 primarily Northwestern works including the premier collection of Dale Chihuly’s glass artwork and the recent gift of the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art. www.tacomaartmuseum.org.

About ARCADE
ARCADE is a Seattle-based nonprofit that creates opportunities — in print, in the community and online — for sharing ideas about design, culture and the built environment. We publish a magazine, host events and provide a curated calendar of Northwest design and art happenings. Aiming to strengthen connections between various creative groups and design disciplines, we invite all to participate and collectively add to the greater whole. http://arcadenw.org/about

About The Grand Cinema
Pierce County’s only nonprofit movie theatre, The Grand Cinema’s vision is to be the premier venue for enriching lives and enhancing the cultural vitality of the community through the art of film. More at www.grandcinema.com.