They say museums are the new churches, but many old churches are now used as spaces for contemporary art. With Christianity in decline, church buildings are converted for other purposes. Many former places of worship function as studio’s, artist residencies, cultural community centers, museums or galleries. Here are just a view examples of former churches and chapels that used as exhibition spaces.
The Zabludowicz Collection housed in a 19th-century Methodist chapel in Chalk Farm, north London. It presents Chaim “Poju” Zabludowicz’ collection, as well as new commissions by artists linked to it. Offense was caused when a miniature statue of Jesus with an erection was displayed.
In 2011 Johann König acquired St. Agnes Church in Berlin as an addition to his gallery in the Dessauer Straße. He hired architect Arno Brandlhuber to convert the Brutalist Church in Kreuzberg, into a gallery space. The church is a listed building designed in 1967 by German architect Werner Düttmann. It was in desperate need of repair. König spend around three million euros for the renovations.
The Nikolaj Kunsthal is a contemporary art center. It is a former early thirteenth century Church in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It is a landmark with one of the tallest towers in the city. It exhibits Danish and international contemporary art.
Art Chapel Amsterdam is a new art gallery in the south of the city. Maarten Bertheux, former conservator of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is the artistic director. Amsterdams Oude Kerk (old Church) and Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) both show contemporary art too
Christopher Henry Gallery is in a renovated church in Manhattan. It shows work by early- and mid-career artists, as well as big name pop icons. It wants to challenge the idea of what a gallery is.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts repurposed a Romanesque revival church into a Canadian art pavilion. This allowed the museum to double its display surface. The building has Tiffany stained glass, dating to the 19th century. Provencher Roy + Associes Architectes were responsible for the renovation.