Re-opening the Cape Ann Museum: From ceramic shards and Lane’s light to more than 1000 prisms
Click below for the video with Cape Ann Museum Director Ronda Faloon
Catherine Ryan writes-
RE-OPENING THE CAPE ANN MUSEUM with Director RONDA FALOON
Part 3 of 3: From ceramic shards and Lane’s light to more than 1000 prisms
In part 3 of touring the Cape Ann Museum’s recent renovation, Director Ronda Faloon heads upstairs and inspires several portrait shots by Joey Ciaramitaro.
designLAB Architects were tasked with orchestrating four projects for this Cape Ann Museum 2013-14 renovation. The museum required interior repairs and updates for older parts of the building “studs in” such as electrical, plumbing, fire and security systems. There was some necessary upkeep and care of fifty year old surfaces. Underutilized spaces were re-configured. Lastly, the renovation provided an opportunity to reinstall the permanent collection. Prior to this renovation, one of the museum’s last building projects was the Graham Gund master plan, a dramatic facility expansion and redesign begun in 1990 and completed in multi-stages so the museum could remain open.
It’s not easy to temporarily close a Cape Ann mainstay. In order to continue to encourage such a superb experience and repeat visitation, the Cape Ann Museum has continually improved. The museum has been in existence since the 1870s. The various buildings, architects and additions are part of its history and success in sharing the arts and culture of Cape Ann.
When the museum re-opens in August 2014 , as visitors ascend the familiar Graham Gund staircase to the second floor (or elevator—Cape Ann Museum is fully accessible), they’ll encounter a new gallery space custom designed for the massive and rare first order Fresnel Lens, one of 39 remaining in the United States. French physicist Augustine-Jean Fresnel designed these lens in the early 1820s. This one was manufactured in Paris, France, and installed on Thatcher Island in 1861. The lens is remarkable for the science and history and is just one of many objects of notable design in the museum’s collection.
Funding support also tells the story of a museum. This project was successful in raising 5 million for a capital campaign including funding from the Gloucester Community Preservation Act, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, among others- and most recently the NEA for the upcoming Fitz Henry Lane Online project.
Although we could not pin her down on a new favorite spot to recommend (“Hopeful that folks will find their own!”)
THREE QUESTIONS FOR MUSEUM DIRECTOR RONDA FALOON
Congratulations on the successful capital campaign and major facilities renovation and collection updates! When did you start as Director?
“I worked as the Assistant Director from 2004-06 and was hired for the Director’s position in 2006. I’ve lived on Cape Ann for 25 years.”
How does it feel to be almost opening?
“10 months is a long time to be closed- I look forward to having people in the museum enjoying and enlivening the spaces! Everyone here on staff has done more than 200% to make this transformation a reality.”
Is there anything you’ll miss from the prior design?
“Change is hard and it was tough to see rooms you loved being disassembled, but now that they have been replaced with something wonderful it’s exciting! We are so grateful to the members, friends, and community for being so very generous and offering such broad support.”
SAVE THE DATES
August 19- Museum grand reopening to the public
Cape Ann Museum website: www.capeannmuseum.org
Architect 2013-14 renovation: designLAB
Lighting designer: LAM Assoc
Exhibition consultant: Naomi Chapman
Display cases: Jeff Westlake
Locals businesses: Timberline, Spittle Electric, Hiltz, Clean Pro and many more
For more on the legacy of artists on Cape Ann and how important the Cape Ann Museum is…
LOOK UP this August to see Hopper, Homer, Hassam, Lane and more on billboards across the country. The Art Everywhere US campaign will feature works by American artists on displays, ads and transportation platforms across the country. Popular vote decided which images will go large. Visithttp://arteverywhereus.org/art-gallery to see the 58 works of art that were crowd sourced from high lights of 5 museums. Hopper, Homer, Lane, Hassam, Heade: images by artists with some Massachusetts and/or Cape Ann –and Cape Ann Museum–connections are represented. Edward Hopper’s Nighthawksat the Art Institute of Chicago received the most votes. Look for Homer’s Gloucester image, Breezing Up (A Fair Wind), from the National Gallery (which granted Gloucester permission for the Winslow Homer story moment marker for the Gloucester HarborWalk) and Lane’s Boston Harbor, Sunset, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Several artists have more than one image chosen (Homer, Cassatt, and O’Keefe to name a few).