The Museum Store at the Philadelphia Museum of Art reopens on Thursday, October 5, after comprehensive renovations overseen by architect Geoffrey White. It features flexible spaces and display cabinetry and fixtures able to accommodate a wider selection of merchandise and enhance the visitor's experience.
"Above all else, this redesign is intended to help us better serve Museum- goers," said Stuart Gerstein, Director for Wholesale and Retail Operations. "Looking forward to the eagerly anticipated Van Gogh: Face to Face exhibition, we have created a handsome, 3,000-square-foot space through which shoppers and browsers may circulate comfortably."
The new Museum Store is expansive and functional, with interior and exterior windows, surfaces finished in shades of gray ranging from near-white to charcoal, and a ceiling of simple metal panels. An entry piazza of linoleum tile leads to a silvery counter that snakes along an angled wall and will present changing installations of the Store's featured products and books. Other new features include a computer terminal where shoppers can visit the Museum's Online Store, and--debuting in December-a Poster Kiosk with two terminals that allow shoppers to electronically browse the Museum Store's complete selection of beautiful, high-quality posters and stationery.
"In redesigning The Museum Store, we sought to evoke the lively and evolving spirit of the Museum's collections, exhibitions and programs, while complementing its majestic architecture," said Mr. White. "The new Store is a 'hands-on' experience: interactive terminals extend the range of items available to visitors, and the entry piazza and sinuous presentation counter serve as visual guides to the Store and even passageways to the imagination."
With undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Geoffrey White formed his own firm in 1974, and now has an office on Martha's Vineyard. He has designed residences for Mr. and Mrs. Mike Wallace and Mr. and Mrs. William Styron, the headquarters of The Judith Rothschild Foundation in New York, and the Children's Memorial for the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society. Previously for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mr. White has overseen a partial redesign of the Museum Store in 1996, and, with architect Eric Rymshaw, the installation of Philippe Starck Designs in 1997.