The Portman Project

This project activates a year of interdisciplinary focus on architect John Portman’s Charles A. Dana Fine Arts Building at Agnes Scott College (1965), designed for art and theatre. The work will start in fall 2024 with innovative curricular strategies and display practices that use the Dalton Gallery–the literal and metaphorical center through which students pass to reach all classrooms–as a workspace/design lab for creative and critical explorations. This preliminary work will culminate in an exhibition (February-May 2025) documenting the history and envisioning the future of the building and the new Department of Creative Arts.

For spring 2025, we will commission and organize art projects for the sculpture garden and stage in the forecourts, reestablish the library on the first floor (restoring Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chairs, benches, and table), and recultivate the garden adjacent the library, reclaiming facets of and extensions to interior spaces that were critical to Portman’s designs and the building’s original uses – updating them for 2024/25 and beyond, while respecting their inheritance. 



A page spread from the original brochure announcing the opening of the Dana Fine Arts Building in 1965
A page spread from the original publication announcing the Dana Fine Arts Building

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