Speed Museum opens in March,
Brown-Forman gift is a bonus
‘Owsley Sundays’ to offer free admission on Sundays
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 2016) – The much anticipated re-opening of the renovated Speed Art Museum on March 12 was given a boost Feb. 23 when Brown-Forman Corp. announced it is giving the art museum $1 million as part of the Speed’s multimillion-dollar capital campaign. The announcement was made by Brown-Forman Vice Chairman James S. Welch Jr. during a news conference at the Speed Art Museum.
“Brown-Forman has been a long-time benefactor of the Speed, and we are very pleased to make this contribution which benefits our entire community in honor of former Brown-Forman Chairman and CEO Owsley Brown II, who was one of Louisville’s most ardent arts’ patrons,” said Welch. “Owsley firmly believed that making art accessible to everyone was essential for both individual and community well-being, so we are proud to provide this gift which will allow anyone to visit the beautiful new Speed Art Museum free of charge every Sunday for five years.”
The $60 million remodeled Speed Museum is scheduled to open in March with a fanfare of events.
The free Sunday admission to the Speed Art Museum at 2035 S. Third St. will be called “Owsley Sundays” in honor of Owsley Brown II, who as CEO of Brown-Forman from 1993 to 2005, led the company’s transformation into a truly global company, continuing his family’s legacy of building Brown-Forman from generation to generation. The free “Owsley Sundays” will begin March 20 and continue through March of 2021.
“This wonderful gift brings together so many things my father cared deeply about: Brown-Forman’s commitment to Louisville, Louisville’s devotion to the arts, and art as the common ground of our shared human story,” said Brooke Barzun, co-chair of the Speed Art Museum’s capital campaign and daughter of the late Owsley Brown II.
“ ‘Owsley Sundays’ gives those ideas a name, and I hope it will allow every resident to visit and take ownership of our re-opened community treasure.”
The free Sundays at the Speed, through the generosity of Brown-Forman, will open up a whole new world to the entire community,” said Ghislain d’Humieres, CEO of the Speed Museum.
“The partnership we’ve enjoyed with Brown Forman over the years – decades, really – has been unique, dynamic and exciting. The real winner though, is our Louisville community.
The Speed has been closed for three years for a major $60 million renovation and expansion that will double the square footage of the original museum. The museum will be open to the public for 30 straight hours immediately following the ribbon cutting ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. on March 12, giving the community unprecedented access to the stunning new interiors, artwork and environment.
The new 62,500 square-foot North Building is largely transparent and will create one of the finest experiential art museums in the country. It will double the museum’s overall square footage and nearly triple the gallery space from the existing wing. The total expansion effort encompasses approximately 220,000 square feet, including 79,600 square feet of renovation, 75,000 square feet of new construction, and 135,000 square feet of landscape improvements.
The expansion creates a new state-of-the-art space for larger special exhibitions, contemporary art galleries, a family education and welcome center, cinema, indoor-outdoor café, museum store, and a multifunctional Grand Hall for performances, lectures and entertaining. Additionally, the new Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park and public piazza will feature creative artworks created specifically for the Speed Museum.
• Information on the Speed’s re-opening, the 30-hour event schedule and more can be found at www.SpeedMuseum.org.
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