P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
July 5, 2000
MASS MoCA:From Mill to Museum Tells Compelling Story of Mill Restoration and Community Revitalization
(July 5, 2000 -- North Adams, MA) Given up for dead at least four times, MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) refused to die. Housed in a converted historic mill complex in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, MASS MoCA opened to glowing critical acclaim in 1999. "I have seen the future," said The Wall Street Journal, "and it is MASS MoCA." The story of how MASS MoCA came to be - from its conception in 1986 to its opening in 1999 - is eloquently told in words and beautifully printed photographs in a new book, MASS MoCA: From Mill to Museum.
With more than 100 color and black-and-white photographs by Nicholas Whitman, the large format book details the design process of the architect Simeon Bruner and his colleagues at Bruner/Cott & Associates. They transformed the 13-acre site into a 21st-century facility for art, all the while respecting the historic fabric of this sprawling, roughhewn relic of America's industrial past. With a fascinating essay by Director Joseph Thompson, it shows why MASS MoCA - a stunning example of intelligent, civic-minded architectural restoration and visionary planning -- has been garnering the world's top architectural and historic preservation awards.
MASS MoCA is not only a testing ground for new art, but it's an important economic catalyst that is revitalizing an entire community, and turning North Adams into what The Boston Globe has called "Silicon Village," attracting e-commerce companies as commercial tenants and generating museum revenue on the side. MASS MoCA: From Mill to Museum is a lesson in how architects, artists, a visionary museum director, citizens, and government leaders (including a tough-minded Mayor and three Govenors) can work together to transform not only a cluster of buildings - but the very way we experience art and architecture today.
MASS MoCA: From Mill to Museum is :
* A handbook for historians, architects, museum planners and anyone interested in neighborhood revitalization
* A model for artists, curators, performing arts producers, and museum professionals for creating an integrated museum and performance space
* A testament to the remarkable beauty and architectural details of historic mills
* A behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of a leading innovative museum.
"For those who have worked on the project from the beginning, it's gratifying to see the long, fascinating road that led to this wonderful art center documented in such a beautiful way," said Meyer S. Frucher, Chairman of the MASS MoCA Foundation.
Contributors to the book include: Joseph Thompson, who is MASS MoCA's founding director who has guided the project since its inception; Simeon Bruner, founding principal of Bruner/Cott & Associates, whose specialty is the design, development and adaptive re-use of 19th and early 20th century industrial buildings; Nicholas Whitman, author of A Window Back: Photography in a Whaling Port; John Heon who is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania; and Jennifer Trainer, the author of nine books and MASS MoCA's Director of External Affairs since 1988.
"The completed museum is such a single piece of architecture that we all forget too easily what came before. Nicholas Whitman's photographs bear eloquent witness to this transformation," said Simeon Bruner, founding principal of Bruner/Cott & Associates.
The 128-page hardcover book with jacket, MASS MoCA: From Mill to Museum (ISBN 0-9700-738-0-1), is $35 and is available wherever books are sold. It is distributed by teNeues Publishing. The book is currently available at MASS MoCA's gift shop, Hardware or can be ordered by calling 413 664 4481 x8140.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located at 87 Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of artists charting new territory; works that blur the lines between visual and performing arts; and works that have seldom, or never, been exhibited because of physical demands such as scale, materials, and fabrication methods.
For Immediate Release