Pardon Our Dust

by University Communications,

During the next 12–18 months, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art will undertake a number of exciting capital projects that have been made possible thanks to a generous gift from Maribeth Collins.

The Mark and Janeth Sponenburgh Gallery
Our first project starts Jan. 14-Jan. 25 with the temporary closing of this gallery. The floor-to-ceiling display cases will be retrofitted to match the floor-to-ceiling display cases in the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Gallery. The smaller display cases and the freestanding pedestals will also be retrofitted to match the new display case and pedestal profile that we created for the recent Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections.

A new look to the entry
The entrance tiles at the front of our building were never properly treated to withstand our cold, wet winters and hot, dry summers — resulting in visitors constantly catching their heels where the slate has cracked and chipped. New entrance tiles will provide an attractive, durable and ultimately safe entrance for our visitors.

More changes in the store
We recently expanded the merchandise mix in our store, adding a wide variety of art-related gift items (ceramics, glass, wood, textiles and jewelry) to our normal inventory of art books related to our collections and exhibitions. As part of our store expansion, we will create improved storage, retrofit the existing jewelry case, build a moveable bookcase, and improve lighting.

Increasing handicap accessibility
The men’s bathrooms on the first and second floors of our building are currently not handicapped accessible and automatic door openers on both bathrooms will be installed during the next year to bring them both into compliance with ADA (Americans with Disability Act) requirements.

Storage improvements
In our basement improvements will include floor-to-ceiling hallway shelves will be added to house our display furniture; several new stationary racks, at least one new moveable rack, and a new storage unit designed to house textiles in our collection vault; and an assortment of new computers and equipment.

Increasing accessibility to the collections
Finally, in an attempt to make our permanent collection accessible and available to faculty for teaching purposes, we will explore the feasibility of creating a searchable database for the 6,000-plus objects in our permanent collection. We are also exploring the possibility of creating a curriculum-centered space within the museum so that objects not on view in our permanent galleries may be pulled and displayed for specific class assignments.

Thank you
We are very excited about these new initiatives, as we strive to become one of the best small college museums of art in the country. As always, we are most grateful to Maribeth for her generosity over the years, and to you, our members, for your ongoing commitment and support.

John Olbrantz
The Maribeth Collins Director