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Benton Museum of Art Public Opening

November 11, 2021

Courtesy of Pomona College.

Pomona College’s new Benton Museum of Art publicly celebrated its opening on Saturday, November 13th. The family-friendly event included hands-on art activities, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music, and, of course, the opportunity to tour the new museum.

Designed in collaboration with Gensler LA, the Benton Museum of Art offers a vibrant, contemporary, and highly relevant art program at Pomona College in Claremont, California. Underscoring openness and accessibility the Museum has multiple entrances, outdoor sculpture gardens, community courtyards, and large expansive glazing. The architecture provides unparalleled access to its extensive collections of Western and Native American Art through a unique approach to art study rooms and archival spaces. The Benton is LEED Gold Certified with one of the lowest EUI’s (Energy Use Intensity) of any museum in California. And the design references the Beaux-Arts tradition of the Pomona College campus with its courtyards, porticos, organizing arcades and expressive, cast-in-place, concrete construction.


Formal and material details of the Benton Museum

The program for the Benton Museum is a direct result of the educational mission of the institution. The Architecture creates the experience of a major, world-class, 21st century museum albeit in a relatively small footprint. The Architecture also provides unique and innovative methods of interacting with art through the arrangement of its galleries, art storage, art handling routes, educational spaces, and archival vaults.

Benton gallery. Courtesy of the Benton Museum of Art

The Benton Museum of Art has been praised in local and national publications. Below is a selection of notable coverage:

“I’ve rarely seen a more thoughtful, comprehensive, economically efficient building project. The new building, [is] a perfect gem.” – Brian T. Allen, “The Beautiful Benton Museum,” The National Review

“At their best, college art museums serve multiple functions. First and foremost, they are teaching facilities where students learn art history and museum curating skills. But often they are also local and regional cultural resources. The new Benton Art Museum... is such a place.” – James McCown, “The Benton Art Museum brings Mediterranean flair to Pomona College,” The Architect's Newspaper


To learn more about the project and the design process behind it, click below:

Benton Museum of Art
The Benton Receives ACI Award
Denver Art Museum Reopening
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