Katzen Arts Center

Katzen Arts Center
Type Private
Established 2005
Location Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Website http://www.american.edu/cas/katzen/

The Katzen Arts Center is home to all of the visual and performing arts programs at American University and the American University Museum. Located at Ward Circle, the intersection of Nebraska Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue, the Center sits atop Embassy Row in Washington, DC, one of the highest points in the nation's capital.[1] This 130,000-square-foot (12,000 m2) space, designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, provides instructional, exhibition, and performance space for all the arts disciplines. Its 30,000-square-foot (3,000 m2) art museum exhibits contemporary art from the nation's capital region and the world. The museum gallery is the Washington region’s largest university facility for art exhibition.[1]

American University Museum

The Center houses many academic departments for the university, including Art History, Graphic Design, Studio Art, Multimedia, Arts Management, Dance, Music, and Theatre. The center also features a 30,000-square-foot (3,000 m2) museum, a 6,000-square-foot (600 m2) sculpture garden, a 211,000-square-foot (19,600 m2) parking garage, 33,000 square feet (3,100 m2) of performing arts space, and 37,000 square feet (3,400 m2) of studio space, including theatre studios, a music ensemble room, art studios, dance studios, and the Abramson Family Recital Hall.[2]

The construction of the Center was made possible by Dr. Cyrus and Mrs. Myrtle Katzen, who house much of their modern art collection within the building, which includes pieces by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Willem de Kooning, and Roy Lichtenstein.[1] The museum also includes art by Jean Dubuffet, Red Grooms, Amedeo Modigliani, Larry Rivers, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol.[3]

American University Museum

The American University Museum is a three-story, 30,000-square-foot (3,000 m2) museum and sculpture garden located within the university’s Katzen Arts Center. The region’s largest university facility for exhibiting art, the museum’s permanent collection highlights the holdings of the Katzen and Watkins collection. Rotating exhibitions emphasize regional, national, and international contemporary art.


Statue of Artemas Ward at Ward Circle with Katzen Art Center behind

Upon completion, the Katzen Arts Center was immediately received as an architectural gem at American University, not only for its design but also for its purpose to encourage student innovation in media, concept, and approach by uniting facilities for creating, displaying, and performing art under one roof.[1] Designed by EYP Architecture & Engineering, the Center is situated on a very long, narrow site abutting Ward Circle. Its form acts as a cultural bridge between the university and the surrounding neighborhood. Other architectural highlights include the piazza with a skylighted rotunda at the center of the facility, which refers and responds to the campus across the street as an informal gathering place for talks, critiques, poetry readings, and impromptu discussions and performances.

External links


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Einhorn Yaffee Prescott’s Katzen Arts Center Really Performs" American Institute of Architects. Retrieved December 13, 2006
  2. "About the Katzen Arts Center" Katzen Arts Center. Retrieved December 13, 2006
  3. "American University Opens New Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen Arts Center" About.com. Retrieved December 13, 2006

Coordinates: 38°56′21″N 77°05′13″W / 38.9393°N 77.087°W / 38.9393; -77.087

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