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If you’re a fan of all things far out and fabulous, you definitely need to pay a visit to the North Dakota Museum of Art (NDMOA) and peruse the Barton Lidice Bennes permanent exhibit.
Ranging from a mounted giraffe and warthog to tribal masks and antiques, this eclectic collection will leave you awestruck.
Acclaimed artist Barton Lidice Benes gifted the contents of his New York apartment to the Museum, which includes over $1 million in African, Egyptian and contemporary art, plus much more. North Dakota Museum of Art staff dismantled the collection and reassembled it as the Museum’s first period room: a Twenty-First Century Artist’s Studio. Benes and NDMOA Executive Director, Laurel Reuter, were first introduced to each other, in 1987, by Harvey Hoshour. Hoshour was the architect who planned the original design for the renovation of the University of North Dakota Old Women’s Gym into what is now the current home of NDMOA. Sadly, he passed away before the renovation was complete; so, Reuter turned to other artists to complete the building. Barton Benes designed the Museum Shop and later NDMOA’s Donor Wall. The new building opened in 1989, with a survey exhibition of Benes’ art.
More exhibitions followed in 1995 and 2004. Then in 1997, NDMOA commissioned Benes to create a Flood of 1997 Museum, made up of metaphor-laden, water-damaged objects donated by various Greater Grand Forks community members.
Through tremendous fundraising efforts, NDMOA raised the money to dismantle Benes’ apartment in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and recreate it in North Dakota. Stop by and check out how it has been amazingly reconfigured in a museum space. Then head to the Museum Café for a delicious lunch or perhaps peruse through the gift shop filled with artsy, cool items.
For more information on the Benes acquisition or NDMOA in general, click here or call 701-777-4195.