Jon Seydl, Director of Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2022. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer.



I often talk about how KAM fosters a culture of care. This coming year we have two projects of care for our building that will translate into care for visitors and the environment.

Late in the fall work on an entrance ramp at the Peabody entrance will begin, ensuring full access to our primary entrance for the first time since 1961. The beautiful Bauer Latoza Studio design centers the ramp and celebrates access, rather than simply adding a functional element to the side of the staircase. This project will solidify and make visible our commitment to the value of accessibility as soon as you arrive at the museum.

Larry Booth’s celebrated 1988 addition to KAM, the Kinkead Pavilion, will receive a thorough renovation starting in January, including a new roof, sustainable lighting, and a long-overdue systems overhaul. We will also have energy-efficient and bird-friendly windows (for more on our bird strike research, see our interview with student Colin Dobson).

We’re deeply grateful to the Office of the Provost and the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation for their support and thankful for partners Tilton, Kelly + Bell and RTM Engineering. Sustainability is another core value, and making the Kinkead Pavilion an efficient building will be the capstone of our recent efforts.

While this work will be disruptive for sure, it will transform our future. We appreciate your patience with us during construction—please visit the website often for updates.

Irrespective of construction, our team continues to serve both the campus and the community. I’m excited for you to learn more about our community-rooted programs—both new and re-envisioned—and our educators’ inventive new ways to connect with school audiences, including our second year partnering with the same students at Booker T Washington Stem Academy in Champaign.

The exhibition program is equally thrilling, including two projects by female storytellers. The fall begins with a career survey of Marie Watt, whose work brings forward stories ranging from those told by her Seneca ancestors to Star Trek. Jen Everett, an emerging artist from St. Louis, will anchor the spring. She debuts a body of work derived from found photographs of Black women, infusing the archive with imagined—and often tellingly absent—narratives of Black queer women.

Our galleries remain as lively as ever, with incredible new acquisitions by Nick Cave, Maria Flaxman, and Preston Singletary transforming the collection with a diverse range of voices.

Let me know what you think.

Jon L. Seydl, Director

Fall 2023