Museum closed for major expansion

Posted by Kemper Art Museum April 20, 2018



This summer, after years of planning and preparation, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis will commence a major expansion designed to increase exhibition programs and to showcase a larger portion of the Museum’s renowned permanent collection.

Led by architecture firm KieranTimberlake, the expansion comes as part of Washington University’s larger East End Transformation. The Museum will reopen to the public in fall 2019, when the East End Transformation is scheduled to be completed. Visit for additional details about the plan to transform the east end of the Danforth Campus and project updates.


Students, faculty, and visiting scholars will have continued access, by appointment, to the Museum Study Room. Beginning in fall 2018, a selection of artworks from the permanent collection will be on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum. The Museum will continue to host select off-site programs

The Kenneth and Nancy Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library, located on the Museum’s lower level, will remain open. 


Dramatic Exterior 
A highlight of the Museum expansion will be a new facade composed of 34-foot-tall pleated stainless steel panels. Reflecting the surrounding landscape, the striking surface will act as a beacon for visitors from both the University and beyond. 

Improved Accessibility 
The Museum’s entrance will be a short walk from the University’s underground parking garage and the Gary M. Sumers Welcome Center, and a drop-off area will make access even more convenient.

Newly Designed Sculpture Garden 
The Museum’s iconic outdoor sculptures will be relocated to the Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden, designed by Michael Vergason Landscape Architects and situated just north of the Sam Fox School’s Anabeth and John Weil Hall. 

Expanded Galleries 
The James M. Kemper Gallery will be a state-of-the-art 2,700-square-foot exhibition space, allowing the Museum to showcase a larger portion of its world-class collection.

Enhanced Visitor Experience
Visitors will be able to relax and enjoy refreshments in a new Café alongside the expanded Museum Shop. The new light-filled lobby will also host an array of programs, including lectures, panel discussions, and performances.

View Museum expansion fact sheet >>

News Stories

"Monumental Undertaking" Under Way, May 13, 2017 >>

Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of university’s east end transformation project, May 11, 2017 >>

Designs Shared for East End of Danforth Campus, October 11, 2016 >>

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum to Expand, October 10, 2016 >>

Transforming the East End of the Danforth Campus, Jessica Martin, October 5, 2015 >>

Architect Named for Weil Hall, Sam Fox School, April 13, 2015 >>


KieranTimberlake is the architecture firm for both Anabeth and John Weil Hall and the Kemper Art Museum expansion. The Philadelphia-based firm has designed many significant higher education projects; among them are the Sculpture Building and School of Art Gallery at Yale University (2007), winner of an AIA Top Ten Green award, and the Brockman Hall for Physics at Rice University (2011), winner of the 2015 AIA Institute Honor Award. A strong research practice within the firm allows for an innovative approach to reducing the environmental impact of its projects. For more information, visit the firm's website.

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