Monday, May 11, 2009

The Beginning of a New Beginning

We recently marked a very special occasion...the staff of the Addison came together for a move meeting. It was not our first move meeting, we've had many of those over the last few years. What made this one special was that it was the first move meeting that concentrated on the move BACK into the museum. It marked the beginning of a new beginning for the Addison Gallery.

We have a date tentatively set for our grand reopening to the public. It's not something I can announce here just yet, but it's about a year from now, assuming construction on the addition and renovation continues at its current pace. The move back into the museum will begin months ahead of our reopening date. We have to move all our "stuff" back in first: office furniture, books, tools, supplies, archives, files, and, of course, the staff. Then, lastly, and certainly not least, the artwork, including the reinstallation of our Manship fountain in the rotunda.

Added to this is reinstalling artwork on each freshly painted wall of every exhibition gallery in the museum. Plans call for us to open with a grand show comprised completely of our permanent collection, and the Curators are hard at work organizing that now. At certain times of day, you can find the Curators huddled over hundreds of collection images printed out on individual sheets of paper, trying to lay out the order of objects in the galleries in their minds. It has been a challenge for them to do this without reference; the collection is either packed and off site or touring in our Coming of Age exhibition and the galleries are off limits.

At our move meeting, we figured that the move in will be different, but no less challenging, than the move out, and that's why we're already starting to plan for it. And it will all be worth it when we finally welcome our first visitors through our renovated front doors around this time next year!

(Images are from a tour given to students from Phillips Academy's Architecture Class. Click the images to make them larger. Note the rotunda is without the Manship fountain.)

James M. Sousa
Associate Registrar for Collections and Archives

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