A new museum opened in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Oct. 29, offering a new home for contemporary art.
The Rubell Museum—housed in the former historically Black 1906 Randall Junior High School—will utilize its 32,000 square feet to boast the original architecture reimagined as galleries featuring “artwork that provides perspectives, insights, and commentary on contemporary ideas and issues.”
“The museum’s historic setting in a place of learning invites the public to explore what artists can teach us about the world we live in and the issues with which we are wrestling as individuals and as a society,” Mera Rubell said in a news release. “As a former teacher, I see artists and teachers playing parallel roles as educators and in fostering civic engagement. With the preservation of this building, we honor the legacy of the Randall School’s many teachers, students, and parents.”
The Randall School, which included notable alumni such as Motown titan Marvin Gaye, closed in 1978. The Rubell Museum’s debut exhibition is titled “What’s Going On”—a reference to Gaye’s revolutionary 1971 album. The exhibition—featuring more than 190 works from 50 artists—will expand upon the album’s themes of social and political commentary, honing in its effects on modern society.
Aiming to be accessible and enriching for the local community, the Rubell Museum will be free for D.C. residents.
For more information, visit dc.rubellmuseum.org.