posted on Nov. 16: Museum restyled and renovated


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”The Secret Life of Forks”]Freshly painted showrooms. New labels. A new exhibit. There'll be plenty new to see when the McMaster Museum of Art reopens its doors this Sunday, Nov. 18. A reopening reception is planned from 2 to 4 p.m.

The featured exhibit for the reopening is an installation from the Ontario Arts Council aptly titled Looking Forward: New Views of the Craft Object (Nov. 18-Dec. 16). The show features a selection of 50 objects across a spectrum of fine, contemporary crafts.

Museum programming will also return with talks by Robin Metcalfe, contemporary art curator, London Regional Museums, (Nov. 29) and silversmith Anne Barros (Dec. 6), and a ceramic demonstration by Thomas Aitken (Dec. 16).

The Museum was closed in mid-May due to a mysterious smell that left some staff feeling ill. Museum staff have used the past several months to spruce up the art gallery and complete projects they couldn't do on a daily basis. It's the first major opportunity they've had to renovate since the new museum in the Alvin A. Lee Building opened its doors in 1994.

“This closing has given us an opportunity to refresh the
facility and make it practically brand new again. The galleries will
have a new polish and sparkle to them and we're excited about that,”
says Christine Butterfield, new assistant curator.

A comprehensive and exhaustive series of air quality tests (including mould tests) were conducted in the spring and all came back negative — nothing was found in the air. The testing also enabled the University to conduct a thorough review of the Museum's mechanical systems. Subsequently, numerous equipment and operational changes have been implemented to upgrade the air quality within the building.

“Our physical plant staff have installed new chiller equipment and reviewed various components of the air handling systems and are now in
the process of completing air and water balancing tests of the new
systems. We expect this work to take three weeks. Museum staff will then put the galleries back up,” says Karen Belaire, vice-president
administration. “The new systems have the latest technology and will provide the climate-controlled environment that is necessary to house the University's art collection.”

A grand reopening celebration is planned for January.

Photo: The Secret Life of Forks by silversmith Anne Barros. (Photo courtesy of the Ontario Arts Council)