Free admission to Everson to celebrate architect I.M. Pei’s 102nd birthday

This article originally appeared on on April 23, 2019.
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Friday April 26, 2019, marks the 102nd birthday of noted architect I.M. Pei, whose Everson Museum of Art is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. In celebration of Pei’s birthday, admission to the Everson Museum of Art will be free this Friday.

Pei was born in China in 1917 and moved to the United States in 1935. He received architecture degrees at MIT and Harvard, and started his firm (now Pei Cobb Freed and Partners) in 1955. Pei would design many notable buildings including the Pyramid at the Louvre in Paris, France (celebrating its 30th Anniversary,) the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.

But the Everson Museum of Art was Pei’s first museum design, and has been credited with launching Pei’s world-famous career, putting the Everson at the forefront of contemporary architecture. Last September in a meeting with Everson representatives, Pei recalled the Everson as one of his favorite museum commissions. A new audio tour of the Everson is available on the Museum’s website.

In honor of the building’s 50th anniversary the Everson created Architecture Exploration Kits which have been distributed to more than 1,600 fifth graders from the Syracuse City School District during class trips to the Museum.

The Architecture Exploration Kits are designed for all ages and help students understand and explore the Everson’s unique features. Kits are available in the Museum Shop and contain a fully illustrated 16-page activity book, pencils and a case, and a 3D model of the Everson’s building designed by the American Institute of Architects Central New York. The Everson hopes to teach and inspire students, introduce careers in architecture, and build community pride for the landmark Everson building.

The activity book was illustrated by Barbara Flintrop, a long-time Museum volunteer docent. Activities encourage observation and critical thinking and include puzzles, word finds, and mazes. The kits, were funded, in part, by the Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation.

The Everson has something for everyone to celebrate Pei’s birthday and the Museum’s 50th anniversary! On May 2, local historian Dennis Connors will present Journey to a Masterpiece, the fascinating story of the Everson’s evolution. July 27 is Artsweek at the Everson a FREE event featuring aerial dance troupe BANDALOOP, who will debut a new dance commissioned for the Everson building. The culminating event of the celebration is an exhibition by Yoko Ono. Remembering The Future opens August 31 and features works from more than five decades of Ono’s career. The exhibition includes significant works in film, music, performance, and visual art presented both inside and outside the museum building.