The Arts Center at the University of Maryland

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I believe people can have a relationship with another human being across space and time through art. The research question examines how architecture can facilitate a personal relationship across space and time by exhibiting art, beauty, knowledge, artifacts of human creativity, and ideas and objects of artistic expression through an art museum on a college campus. This thesis provides an opportunity to work with potential stakeholders on a project that is in the beginning stages of thinking called the Phillips Collection and David C. Driskell Contemporary and Modern Art Center at the University of Maryland (title in process). The applied design research will investigate the implications of an art museum and a university research/teaching center. The Phillips Collection (Washington D.C.) is a collection of over 4,000 works set in the home of Duncan Phillips (1886‒1966). The David C. Driskell Center (University of Maryland, College Park), established in 2001, honors the legacy of David C. Driskell - Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Art, Artist, Art Historian, Collector, Curator, and Philanthropist – by celebrating African American visual art. Both collections have outgrown their space and are seeking a partnership in which to expand their ideas and collections.

This thesis addresses questions about the organization of museum typology in a university setting, the value of collecting art, aesthetic experience, affirming cultural identity, increasing status of place, and the relationship of architecture and art.  Through designing the program and building, I will explore the potential for partnership between the University of Maryland, David C. Driskell Center, and the Phillips Collection by supporting aesthetic and spatial experiences.