Krannert Art Museum Adds Significant Addition, Kinkead Pavilion


Krannert Art Museum, Kinkead Pavilion entrance. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer (2015)
Krannert Art Museum, Kinkead Pavilion entrance. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer (2015)
News Bureau - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

For Immediate Release


Champaign, Ill. — With the addition of the $3.6 million Kinkead Pavilion, the University of Illinois Krannert Art Museum—the second largest public collection in Illinois—will be able to display more of its holdings.

Plans for the addition, originally approved last October by the university's board of trustees, were redrawn when the board expressed dissatisfaction with the physical appearance of the new wing.

"The board approved revisions of the initial plan in May, assuring that the exterior better complements the existing structure and relates to its campus surroundings," said museum director Stephen Prokopoff.

The Chicago architectural firm of Booth/Hansen & Associates has designed the pavilion, fashioned from copper and marble. The structure is named after William Kinkead, a student at the university in 1919–20, whose estate provided the project's major funding.

Prokopoff said the pavilion will permit a wider display of the permanent collection, much of which now is in storage for lack of space. The plan also includes space for a print and photography gallery, an education-orientation center, a coffee shop and a museum store.

"Kinkead was an industrialist who had two passions in life — sports and art," Prokopoff said.

Kinkead's artistic interests ranged from Toulouse-Lautrec to Chicago-born contemporary artist Leon Golub, and he was an avid collector, Pokopoff said. Many of the pieces in Kinkead's private collection have been donated to the Krannert.

"In the state, the university's collection of old masters and modern art is second only to that of the Art Institute of Chicago, both in the size and worth of the collection," he said. "This addition will open up many opportunitities, especially for students, residents and travelers in central Illinois."

Krannert also initiates traveling exhibitions. A recent notable example is "Selected Work from the Prinzhorn Collection," which traveled to several U.S. museums after opening at Krannert. Amassed by German physician Hans Prinzhorn in the 1920s, it was the first  major collection of works by psychiatric patients and had never before been shown outside of Europe.

Traveling exhibitions recently have come to Krannert's galleries from Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirschhorn Museum and other major institutions.

Prokopoff said construction of the Kinkead Pavilion is expected to begin in the spring, with a projected opening date of fall 1987. Funds for the pavilion will come from the Krannert Charitable Trust and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as the Kinkead estate.

The trust was established by the late Indianapolis industrialist Herman C. Krannert, an alumnus, and his wife, Ellnora, to help support the work of the museum and the university's Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, for which they were the major donors.