Centre Pompidou chooses Jersey City for its first US outpost

Written by Megan C. Hills, CNN

One of France’s best-known art institutions, the Centre Pompidou, has chosen Jersey City as the site of its first North American outpost.
Set to open in 2024, the satellite museum will host exhibitions drawn from the Paris institution’s 120,000-strong collection of modern and contemporary art, it was announced Friday.

The move forms part of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s wider goals of transforming Journal Square, where the museum will be located, into a regional hub for culture — and the city into a “larger destination for the arts,” according to a press release.

Architecture firm the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been tasked with renovating the historic Pathside Building, which was built in 1912. Originally an office for the Public Service Electric and Gas Company, it was used by Hudson Community College until 2017.

The disused space had originally been earmarked for residential use until it was acquired by the city in 2018, according to OMA.
Dating back to 1912, the Pathside Building will be renovated ahead of the museum's 2024 opening.

Dating back to 1912, the Pathside Building will be renovated ahead of the museum’s 2024 opening. Credit: Courtesy OMA

Architect Jason Long, who will lead the renovation, said in a press statement that the Pathside Building is “a historic structure rich with potential.” Jersey City officials meanwhile said that “historic elements” of the building, including terracotta and cast stone detailing and original brick masonry, will be preserved and restored.

As well as exhibiting art from the Centre Pompidou’s vast collection, which comprises masterpieces by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp, the outpost will also host cultural events and educational programs.
The opening will take place a year after the Centre Pompidou in Paris shuts for extensive maintenance work that the French government says will continue until 2026.

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Opened in Paris in 1977, the Centre Pompidou has established several international outposts in recent years. In 2019, the institution launched a five-year collaboration with Shanghai’s West Bund Museum, which borrowed around 100 artworks for the partnership’s inaugural show. The Pompidou also has branches in the French city of Metz, the Belgian capital, Brussels, and Malaga, Spain.

Serge Lasvignes, the president of Centre Pompidou, said in a press statement that the Jersey City project would “open a dialogue with the USA.” Mayor Fulop is meanwhile quoted as saying that the partnership marks the “latest major step towards (Jersey City’s) broader revitalization goals.”

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