Menil Collection

Menil Drawing Institute Fly Through courtesy of Johnston Marklee / Nephew

The Menil Drawing Institute

The Menil Drawing Institute has been a program of the Menil since 2008, organizing major traveling exhibitions and undertaking scholarly projects including preparation of the catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jasper Johns. The Menil Drawing Institute’s home, designed by the Los Angeles-based firm of Johnston Marklee with the collaboration of landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, will be the fifth art building on the Menil’s 30-acre campus. The building is the first freestanding facility built expressly for the exhibition, study, conservation, and storage of modern and contemporary drawings.

The low building is stitched into the landscape through three courtyards (featuring Vermont Danby Marble), which serve as thresholds and provide the building’s interior with filtered natural light. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates’ design for the courtyards responds to the quiet eloquence of the architectural design, and to the qualities particular to drawings themselves: subtle tonality, shadow, and the relationship of form against void. 


Architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee describe their vision and inspiration for the Menil Drawing Institute drawn in part from the Menil Collection’s rich history.

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