The Wexner Center opened in November 1989. Conceived as a research laboratory for all the arts, it has emphasized commissions for new work and artist residencies since its inception. Its multidisciplinary programs encompass performing arts, exhibitions, and media arts (film/video) and have focused on cutting-edge culture from around the globe.
In October 2005, the Wexner Center galleries reopened after an extensive renovation. All program areas remained active during the renovation, but exhibitions were mounted off site, at the Belmont Building in downtown Columbus.
The Wexner Center building is named in honor of Harry L. Wexner, the father of Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and founder of Limited Brands and a major donor to the center.