(KMOV.com) -- Starting Sunday evening, the Saint Louis Art Museum will close to the public for two weeks to prepare for the opening of its Sir David Chipperfield-designed East Building. The expanded museum will reopen with a two-day, public celebration starting on June 29.
The closure, which begins at 5 p.m. Sunday, marks one of the last steps in a construction project that has lasted more than three years, during which time the museum has remained open to the public.
Designed by David Chipperfield Architects with technical assistance from St. Louis-based HOK, the East Building increases gallery and public space by 30 percent and houses 21 new galleries for the collection and temporary exhibitions. The inaugural exhibitions in the East Building will feature 230 works from the permanent collection, 55 of which have not been on view for at least 20 years. The expansion project also enabled the renovation and reinstallation of the iconic 1904 building. More than 1,450 works of art have been reinstalled in 68 galleries; approximately one-third of these works have not been on view for at least 20 years.
Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on June 29, the museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 30. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 29, and from noon to 5 p.m. on June 3o, the public is invited to explore the World of Art, an outdoor celebration of the expansion with free hands-on art projects and performances organized by local cultural organizations and arts groups, as well as food booths on Fine Arts Drive and in the east parking lot. On the evening of June 29, the opening night celebration will continue with musical performances organized by Jazz St. Louis.
Consistent with the inscription carved above the museum’s main entrance - “Dedicated to Art and Free to All” - all grand opening events are presented without charge.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums with collections that include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Areas of notable depth include Oceanic art, pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes and European and American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries, with particular strength in 20th-century German art. Much more of the collections will be on public view starting on June 29, 2013, when the Saint Louis Art Museum opens its new East Building.
Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum is free to all every day. For more information, call 314.721.0072 or visit slam.org.