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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wing(s) of SAM Closed

posted by on January 29 at 9:47 AM

I’m remiss in not yet writing about The Gates of Paradise: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Renaissance Masterpiece, which opened Saturday at Seattle Art Museum. (I’ll make up for that later today.)

But there’s another SAM question I want to address. The 16th-century wood room on the fourth floor is closed, and so is the room adjacent to it (with the Uccello). Beneath them on the third floor, Gary Hill’s installation has been removed, the area taped off.

When I asked a guard what was going on, he said there was a water leak in the museum. But SAM spokeswoman Cara Egan says there has been no water leak, and no damage to any of the art.

Egan says the closures have been caused by an HVAC malfunction. Museum engineers refused to provide details, but Egan insists the art is not in danger.

As for when the areas will open again, she says the museum hopes to make the repairs in a month or so, “but you never know.”

Still a weird dead zone.

On another note: The Second Avenue entrance of SAM—the entrance at the top of Venturi’s grand staircase—is once again moot. It has been locked for the duration of the Ghiberti show and the upcoming Roman art from the Louvre exhibition. “It’s a test to see if that improves circulation,” Egan said.

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I wish them luck with that circulation thing. If only they had razed the Venturi building and started over during this most recent expansion.

Posted by JW | January 29, 2008 10:04 AM

Heres a thought for circulation--have better shows!!!

Posted by madDog | January 29, 2008 10:05 AM

Not getting the full story here.

Posted by superyeadon | January 29, 2008 10:54 AM

@3: Email me?

Posted by Jen Graves | January 29, 2008 10:55 AM

venturi should be sued.

or the SAM should sue itself.

Posted by max solomon | January 29, 2008 12:37 PM

No, I mean that I doubt I just read the full story. Just a gut feeling. I don't have super double top secret info or anything.

Posted by superyeadon | January 29, 2008 2:15 PM

I was running around there Sunday noting a surprising number of closed-off areas. The place was definitely feeling a bit shrunken, since the entire Special Exhibitions area is also closed for next month's Roman-stuff-from-the-Louvre exhibit.

Its funny how the original entrance lobby and the entire staircase is now just an enormous amount totally wasted space. I wonder what will be happening there in 10 years time. The whole thing could be turned into something like a free sculpture gallery.

Posted by MarkyMark | January 30, 2008 2:19 AM

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