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.