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The Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesday unveiled Herzog & de Meuron’s conceptual design for its new museum building in downtown Vancouver. The 310,000-square-foot building features more than 85,000 square feet of exhibition space—more than double the museum’s current size — and a new education center with a 350-seat auditorium, workshops and a resource center for research, library services and artist archives.

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The Vancouver Art Gallery is launching a new initiative focused on Asian art, including a senior curatorial position and an international advisory council.

As part of the Institute of Asian Art, the gallery will also dedicate permanent space to Asian art in its new, expanded facility planned for West Georgia and Cambie streets.

“With dedicated curatorial leadership and the support of an international network of advisors, the Institute of Asian Art will be an important resource for our community, stimulating new dialogue and further strengthening the ties between Vancouver and the Asian Pacific region,” Vancouver Art Gallery director Kathleen Bartels said in a news release.

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The Vancouver Art Gallery announced that it has selected the Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron to design its new building in downtown Vancouver. The 300,000-square-foot facility will provide more than double the space of the museum’s current home. It will be Herzog & de Meuron’s first project in Canada.

Based in Basel, Switzerland, Herzog & de Meuron’s previous projects include the Tate Modern in London, the Perez Art Museum in Miami, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. The firm was selected from a group of five finalists, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York), KPMB Architects (Toronto), SANAA (Tokyo), and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (New York).

The Vancouver Art Gallery’s new building will include dedicated spaces for the museum’s growing collections, expanded indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces, and new educational facilities. The museum plans to release conceptual designs for the new building in early 2015.

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The Vancouver Art Gallery received a generous donation of photographs including American photographer Robert Frank’s (b. 1924) historic work, Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey (1955) from his landmark series, The Americans. Other new acquisitions include photographs by Greg Girard (b. 1955), Rodney Graham (b. 1949), Aaron Siskind (1903-1991), and over 100 works by Canadian artist Charles Gagnon (1934-2003).

Gagnon, a prominent figure in Quebec’s art world, was a student of the work of Frank. The gift of 111 of his photographs was made possible by Gagnon’s estate. The works join an already substantial collection of the artist’s work at the Vancouver Art Gallery, which includes paintings and works on paper.

Andrew Gruft and Claudia Beck, art patrons who have made a number of generous donations to the Gallery over the years, are responsible for many of the most recent acquisitions including the Frank addition. Gruft and Beck were pivotal in the formation of the Gallery’s collection and helped make the museum one of the most notable institution’s for historical and modern photography.

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