From the Ground Up: Building Racine Art Museum

June 1 - August 17, 2013

In 2003, Racine Art Museum opened the doors of its Main Street space in downtown Racine. Rooted in the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts—still an integral part of the organization as a whole—RAM offered the opportunity for institutional growth in a variety of capacities, including more exhibition and storage space. 

Designed by the award-winning Chicago architecture firm Brininstool + Lynch, the museum is an environmentally sound and visually striking reuse of two existing structures that join together in an “exploration of transparency, translucency, opacity, and light.” The RAM facility features over 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, an entire floor dedicated to collection care and art preparation, a museum store, art library, and administrative offices. 

Honoring RAM’s 10th anniversary, From the Ground Up offers materials—floor plans, photographs, blue prints, ephemera, and a building model—that document the development of the new museum for Racine leading up to its grand opening in 2003. For visitors unfamiliar with these ideas, this exhibition is a snapshot of an important moment in RAM’s history. For those acquainted with the building project, it offers an opportunity to reminisce and to contemplate what has changed and what has stayed the same since the museum’s early phases of conception, design, and construction.

Racine Art Museum building, 2011
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine
Racine Art Museum building
Photographed before 1906
Racine Art Museum
Exterior Photograph by Christopher Barrett, ca. 2005
Racine Art Museum building
Photographed ca.1965
Racine Art Museum building, ca. 2007
Photography: Jessica Z Schafer
From the Ground Up is made possible at RAM's Wustum Museum of Fine Arts by: Presenting Sponsors - Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, The Estate of Emile H. Mathis II, in Memory of his Parents: Emil H. and Anna T. Mathis, SC Johnson, Windgate Charitable Foundation; Gold Sponsors - National Endowment for the Arts, Racine United Arts Fund; Silver Sponsors - Elwood Corporation, Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, W.T. Walker Group, Inc., Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors - The A.C. Buhler Family, CNH America LLC, E.C. Styberg Foundation, Inc., Educators Credit Union, In Sink Erator, The Norbell Foundation, Real Racine, Robert W. Baird & Co., Runzheimer Foundation, Ruud Family Foundation.