500 East Peabody Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 217-333-1861 (automated)
|College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign|
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History and Mission
The Krannert Art Museum opened in 1961 as a home for the University of Illinois' fine art collection.1 Today it is the home of a collection of "more than 10,000 works of art," spread throughout its galleries.2 It has a wide and varied permanent collection; it also hosts traveling exhibits, film screenings, and other special exhibitions.
Krannert's permanent collection contains works by artists such as Childe Hassam, Isoda Koryūsai, Camille Pissarro, Areogun of Osi Ilorin, François Boucher, Walker Evans, Zana Soro, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol. Its collections span continents and eras, ranging from Africa, Asia, and the ancient Mediterranean to Europe and North and South America. It is home to so-called "decorative arts" (a term encompassing such variant things as pottery, candlesticks, and furnishings), "intermedia" (CANVAS3 is a multidisciplinary installation piece), photography, and what KAM refers to as "works on paper," a diverse collection including a woodcut by Dürer, the above-mentioned Warhol, and drawings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.4
In addition, KAM owns several sculptures by the famous late nineteenth and twentieth-century American sculptor (and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign alum), Lorado Taft. Taft is also known as the sculptor of the famous Alma Mater, currently undergoing repairs; in addition, there are several Taft sculptors across campus, including a few at the Main Library. Many of Taft's works at KAM are large to the extent of imposing; when one enters the Kinkead Pavilion, coming face to face with his works, one can be more than a little startled by their sheer immensity, as well as by the emotion Taft sculpted into faces cast in bronze.
However, KAM also has outdoor collections, thanks to its small and enjoyable sculpture garden. Many of the sculptures are whimsical, and the gardens are an excellent space in which to relax after a stressful day.
Krannert Art Museum is affiliated with the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
The original building was designed by Ambrose Richardson, its lines showing their descent from Mies Van Der Rohe's International Modernists — a legacy KAM acknowledges on its website.5 Its construction was made possible by Ellnora and Herman Krannert6, who also made possible the construction of the University of Illinois' Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. More recently, as the original building began to run out of space, an addition was required: the Kinkead Pavilion, constructed in 1988 and designed by Larry Booth and Associates7. The space added by the Pavilion — 63,000 square feet — means that KAM "is the second largest art museum in the state of Illinois."8
Visting Krannert Art Museum
Admission to KAM is free; however, there is a suggested $3 donation. KAM is open almost daily, though it closes on selected University and national holidays, including, in 2013-2014, the following days:
- Independence Day/July 4 (a yearly closure)
- Labor Day (a yearly closure)
- Thanksgiving Holiday, November 28-29, 2013
- Winter Holidays, December 23, 2013-January 1, 2014
KAM is conveniently located at the intersection of Peabody and Sixth, near Memorial Stadium and just a few blocks off the University of Illinois Quad. The Museum is wheel-chair accessible.
Those interested can become members of the Museum, enabling them to support the Museum's mission and entitling them to several benefits, including admission to lectures, tours, and other special events.
- KAM News provides information about current exhibitions and events at the museum.
- The Krannert Art Museum's online calendar is kept up-to-date, with all the latest information about the museum's events.
- Volunteer opportunities at the Museum
- College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
- KAM's Current Exhibitions, which are always worth checking out!
- Lorado Taft's Wikipedia page, which offers several links for additional information.
- The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign's Main Library also offers a short biography of Lorado Taft, as well as archival papers pertaining to the artist.
1Museum History and Architecture, Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion
4 Due to their fragile nature, works such as the Dürer are not always on display. See http://kam.illinois.edu/collection/worksonpaper/ for more information.
5 See the portion of the page titled architecture.
6 Explore CU's Krannert Art Museum.
8 Krannert Art Museum; see "architecture."