Columbus Museum of Art expansion begins in style

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Anyone who happened by the Columbus Museum of Art late Thursday afternoon might have been surprised to spot polo players on horseback striding alongside a pair of boxers duking it out in the ring.

The surreal setting provided a colorful backdrop for a ground breaking ceremony commemorating the start of construction on the $37.6 million, two-story addition to the museum, located at 480 E. Broad St.

It also marked the beginning of an expansive new exhibit, George Bellows and the American Experience, which opens today and runs through Jan. 4. Both the polo players and the boxers were reenacting some of Bellows' best-known works ("Polo at Lakewood" and "Stag at Sharkey's," respectively), which are among the 35-plus pieces featured in the career-spanning exhibit on the late Columbus native.

Construction on the new wing, which is expected to take at least two years and will add 50,000 square feet of space, makes up the third and final phase of the museum's Art Matters renovation and expansion project, which started in 2009.