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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Update on Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Museum

The new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis, will have its groundbreaking ceremony at 3 p.m. on Mar. 1. The museum, two years in the making, will complete the South Entry to campus, accompanying the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. Expected opening is in 2016.

The newest museum to Davis is named in honor of Jan Shrem, proprietor of Clos Pegase winery in the Napa Valley and his wife Maria Manetti Shrem. In 2011, Jan Shrem made the museum possible with a $10 million donation to UC Davis in 2011. Margrit Mondavi is among other philanthropic contributors .

“The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art represents a truly transformational effort at UC Davis,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said in an email. “At its core, it is a teaching museum. Every facet of the Shrem Museum will underscore its commitment to educating students and training artists. It will become a focal point of our campus and serve as a beacon to the region, the state and the world of the essential role of the arts in higher educations.”

Rachel Teagle, who has worked in museum curation and direction for 15 years, will be the first director of the Shrem Museum. Currently, she is the director of the The Richard L. Nelson Gallery at UC Davis. The first exhibition at the Shrem Museum that Teagle will curate is UC Davis’ Fine Arts Collection, a work in process of over 50 years.

“The collection has been inspired by how faculty teach art at UC Davis so that students may have the opportunity to learn directly from world class works of art,” Teagle said in an email. “As we continue to build the collection we are thinking about ‘Davis Collects Davis’ — in other words, collecting the work of our renown faculty and students. In addition, we want to collect works of art that will exhibit well in the museum architecture.”

A competition for the search for the perfect visitor experience in museum design was judged by a jury of faculty, architects and museum professionals. Cited criteria for the winning design, according to a May 1, 2013 UC Davis press release, included “alignment with the essential characteristics of UC Davis, its celebration of the campus’ connection with culture and cultivation and its use of light … the design’s potential to expand and evolve, along with its goal of achieving LEED Gold certification for sustainability from the U.S. Green Building Council.”

The winning design was by the associated architectural team of SO-IL, based in New York, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, from San Francisco. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson will also serve as executive architects.

“Given that UC Davis is building its own new art museum and collection, this seemed like an opportune chance to create a campus museum [that] should not just display art, but be a place of exchange. A place where people can gather around a topic or idea,” Florian Idenburg, principal at SO – IL, said in an email interview. “In that sense it is much more a platform, and much more active, [than] a traditional museum.”

Among Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s most notable projects are the Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA, and Apple Stores world-wide, including the iconic all-glass cube in New York City. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is also known for their exceptionally designed and executed academic buildings, and have worked on several other UC campuses.

“The indoor-outdoor design, with open visual access and featuring outdoor projection of art on the building, facilitates 24-7 access to the museum by visitors as diverse as the late-night student visitor and travelers along I-80,” Karen Michele Nikos-Rose, senior public information representative for UC Davis, said in an email.

Nikos-Rose said the combination of indoor and outdoor spaces will also be used for many different daily activities that will be a part of the museum.

Most notable about the Shrem Museum’s design is a 50,000-square-foot “Grand Canopy.” It floats above most of the museum, so as to incorporate outdoor space into the museum’s floorplan. The indoor space is roughly 29,000 square feet.

“Like the Central Valley, the landscape under the Canopy becomes shaped and activated by changing light and seasons,” Idenburg said. “Its unique form engenders curiosity from a distance, like a lone hill on a skyline.”

The first community-targeted project at the Shrem Museum will take place at 10 a.m. on Feb. 28. Then, time capsules from the public will be accepted to be stored at a unnamed date. Suggested content includes UC Davis memories, photos, recordings, letters, papers and art.


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