Addison Reopening Delayed

The Addison Gallery of American Art, currently in its final stage of renovation, is scheduled to reopen to the public in the summer of 2010, a few months after originally planned. As The Phillipian reported in April, the Addison initially schedule to reopen in the spring of 2010. Michael Williams, Director of Facilities, wrote in an e-mail, “[The] minor delay in the reopening date is due to several extra repairs that are being conducted in the original museum.” The newly renovated building will undergo tests and final repairs throughout winter term to prove that it is running properly before the art returns to the gallery, said Williams. “We will open up all of our galleries to reintroduce around 350 treasures of the Addison. We are planning to have receptions celebrating the reopening and tours for donors, teachers and students,” said Susan Faxon, Associate Director and Curator of the Addison Gallery. Many of the Addison’s artworks are traveling overseas while the gallery is under reconstruction. The Addison’s art pieces are planned to return in the spring of this year. “Some of the great paintings and sculptures in the collection have traveled to Dallas, London, Venice, Fort Lauderdale and Quebec City. The shows exposed tens of thousands of visitors to the Addison and its wonderful collection,” said Brian Allen, Director of the Addison Gallery. The museum will be 50 percent larger than before, and renovations will include new lighting, ventilation, humidity control, heating, fire protection and improved electrical systems. New structural additions to the Addison include an interactive learning center, along with art handling spaces, art storages, offices, and a loading dock. The new Museum Learning Center will be conveniently connected to the Elson Art Center, and the facility will provide students and visitors with quick, close access to the resources and art collections in the Addison. Allen said the learning center “will be flexible, allowing students to use our great art library, classes to meet, and a visiting scholar to review a curatorial file. Classes can also study [the gallery’s art collections] in a safe manner in a classroom setting.” The new storage spaces and offices will support the Addison’s growing art collection and staff. During the museum renovation, the permanent art collections of the museum remain available for students taking art classes. The Addison Gallery is also sponsoring many community lectures and events aimed towards the local community. The Addison Gallery staff is using this reconstruction period to branch out of the museum. Faxon said several staff members have taken sabbaticals to earn advanced degrees in graduate schools. Faxon said that the staff is currently planning for the reopening exhibitions.