Friday, February 22, 2008

The Museum Learning Center

Anyone who has visited the Addison while a school group is here or when we have an opening knows that we’re a small place. The lobby can get so crowded with visitors that you can barely move through it. Many unfortunate visitors have gotten their feet wet more than once by accidentally stepping into the Manship fountain.

The new Museum Learning Center (MLC) will add much needed square footage of public space to the museum and will provide a place where students, scholars, and visitors can study our collections up close. Part of our future expansion and renovation and planned to be adjacent to our expanded art library (see left, click for larger image), the MLC will be a versatile space easily accessible from the museum and the Elson Art Center, bringing our art closer than ever to those who study it.

The larger central space of the MLC will be able to accommodate school groups and classes coming to view objects by appointment. Built-in display fixtures installed throughout will be used to view artwork. The area is also large enough that it can accommodate audiences for lectures and films as well as visitors coming to study the material in our library or from our archives. A smaller enclosed “flex space” will serve visitors interested in meeting or viewing artwork in a quiet, more intimate space.

The Addison has always been a center of learning for American art and the new MLC will help to further that mission. We hope it will help encourage young students to get their feet wet studying art without, actually, getting their feet wet!

James M. Sousa

Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

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