The College of Art and Design at Alfred University is widely recognized as a leader in ceramic art and education. For over a decade, the College has recognized the need for dedicated space for exhibition, collection holding, and education in support of the Ceramic Art program. As envisioned the Schein Joseph Museum will provide, flexible exhibition space and accessible collection storage/exhibition preparation, in equal parts. The gallery will serve as a venue for traveling exhibitions, for a works from the College collection, and for works produced by Alfred faculty and students. The collection storage will provide for both conservation and education in support of ceramic art programs and in attracting the donation of ceramic art collections to the College.
As designed, the building is a simple, linear gallery space presenting itself to the approach along Main Street in Alfred, intended to exhibit openness, both day and night. An entry ramp extends the entry sequence, allowing for a single point of access control, while emphasizing the linear organization and providing sufficient height for the collection storage/exhibit preparation which forms the base of the building. As sited and oriented, the building can be expanded by adding a parallel bar, which could be either a second flexible gallery, or a series of small galleries dedicated to donated collections. Collection storage would expand in the same proportion below. The building will have a very simple palette of materials – brick, glass, and translucent glass on the exterior, concrete, plaster and glass on the interior, with minor elements in natural wood and metal.
Planned to open in 2010, the ceramic museum intends to provide a structure suitable to the reputation of the School of Art and Design, while providing an open, accessible amenity to the Village of Alfred.