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A $165,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation will help the Colby College Museum of Art reinstall its American art collection. Dynamic new exhibitions will be mounted as the museum transitions from the initial installation in the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion to subsequent exhibitions. “This generous grant will allow us to rethink the installation of our permanent collection in the beautiful spaces created by the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion,” said Carolyn Muzzy Director of the Museum and Chief Curator Sharon Corwin.
The new pavilion opened in 2013 featuring an exhibition titled The Lunder Collection: A Gift of Art to Colby College. Conceived to both inaugurate the new building and to commemorate the transfer of the Lunder Collection to the museum’s permanent collection, that exhibition closes June 8. The museum staff will then reinstall American and contemporary works from its permanent collection as part of a 12-month phased process supported by the Luce Foundation.
The grant from will help cover costs associated with the reinstallation of American art from the 18th century to the contemporary era. It also will provide funds to support associated educational programs including an innovative audio tour, and it will help secure strategic loans of works from other institutions to enhance specific aspects of the exhibition.
The new exhibition will open July 19, and the Luce grant will help launch a sustained rotation of art works for coming years to ensure that the museum’s exhibitions remain fresh in their perspectives and approaches to the display of contemporary American art within a historical context.
The reinstallation project dovetails with an expansion of Colby’s Art Department faculty. Associate Professor of Art Tanya Sheehan, a scholar of American art with particular expertise in African-American art and the history of photography, joined the faculty last fall.
“We are indebted to the Luce Foundation for its leadership in supporting scholarly exhibitions of American art,” said Corwin. “With this grant, we can deepen and expand our engagement with and presentation of American art for all of our audiences to enjoy.”