Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art Opens at Washington State University

In Art by Caitlin Pihl

On April 6, 2018 the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art officially opened at Washington State University on the Pullman, Washington campus. Nicknamed the “Crimson Cube” for its box configuration wrapped in crimson-colored glass, the structure mirrors its campus surroundings. The one-of-a-kind reflective panels made in the Netherlands are the brainchild of the building’s designer, Seattle-based Jim Olson of Olson-Kundig Architects.

Schnitzer-WSU museum is Washington’s largest public fine-arts facility east of the Cascades, with seven galleries and 14,000 square feet of exhibit space. Its layout includes: the Crimson Cube, which holds the main gallery spaces; and the adjacent former WSU Museum of Art that offers teaching space and a gallery. Schnitzer is the largest collector of contemporary fine art prints and multiples in the United States and at opening the Museum exhibited Person(a): Portraiture from Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation from his collection. By contributing to the museum and their exhibitions, he hopes to make art more accessible to the public, especially in the Pacific Northwest, he said.

“Washington State University in Pullman has been one of the country’s foremost land grant universities. While there has been a small art museum on campus for several decades, we now have a chance to build upon the interest in visual arts on this amazing campus. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art will have substantially larger galleries, enabling museum directors and curators to collaborate with every dean on campus, to develop programs and exhibitions so every student has a reason to visit the museum. In addition, this museum will be the only museum within 100 miles of any other museum, creating the unique opportunity to reach every grade school student and adult in the counties surrounding Pullman, Washington, offering exhibitions of interest to enrich their hearts and souls,” Schnitzer said.

Schnitzer worked closely on the project with the late WSU President Elson S. Floyd, who shared Schnitzer’s passion for fine arts and the recognition that art museums can elevate civilizations and transform lives.  Washington State University’s President Kirk Schulz, and his wife Noel, continue Floyd’s dedication.  “The arts are essential to creating interdisciplinary connections and making all of us better, more critically observant individuals. The new Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU – placed in the heart of the Pullman campus – symbolizes the treasured role of the arts and our commitment to offering our students a transformative educational experience.”

Person(a): Portraiture from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation