Wednesday, Mar 2, 2016
The Hyde Collection announced that, in mid-March, it will begin an exciting set of renovation projects designed to enhance the visitor experience and display more art from the permanent collection. The Museum will transform its lobby and admissions area, convert its museum shop into the Whitney-Renz Gallery, and improve technology throughout campus.
Together, these projects represent the final phase of The Marquee Project, a modest capital campaign the Museum began in 2010. The initial funds raised during The Marquee Project were used to unite the campus and improve the Museum’s infrastructure. New landscaping and sidewalks, new exterior lighting, and an upgraded sprinkler system were completed in 2013.
Under Director Erin Coe’s leadership, the remaining Marquee funds were prioritized to fulfill the Museum’s strategic vision to “A.C.T.” – a vision that focuses on accessibility, community engagement, and technology. “The projects will move the organization forward by creating more exhibition space for our permanent collection and providing more visitor amenities such as Wi-Fi in the museum, streamlining the check-in process with admission desk upgrades, and comfortable seating,” Coe explained. “While we’re at it, we will update our security system and vastly improve the gallery lighting with new LED technology throughout the Education Wing. These improvements will have a tremendous impact on the visitor experience, a strategic priority.”
In addition, the wood floors in the Hoopes Gallery and the new Whitney-Renz Gallery will be refinished and the Education Wing will receive new carpeting and a fresh coat of paint. Three flat-screen monitors will be installed in the Museum Lobby, so visitors can receive immediate and up-to-date information on programs, events, tours, concerts, and admission information.
The Museum’s gift shop will revert to its original purpose as the Whitney-Renz Gallery. Converting this space into a gallery will allow The Hyde more flexibility and greater opportunity to display additional work from the Museum’s collection of more than 4,000 objects, but the Museum Store is not going away – recessed displays in the newly-renovated Lobby will continue to offer a selection of focused, relevant merchandise centered on the rotating exhibitions and the permanent collection.
Lastly, the Museum is taking steps to launch E-Museum in the fall of 2016. E-Museum is a web-based application that integrates with The Hyde’s collections database to publish catalogue information on the objects in its collection, making this vital information accessible to the online world. Visitors at The Hyde, or beyond its walls, can go online and learn about the Museum’s collections of American and European paintings and works on paper, and decorative arts collections (over 2,000 works will be available).
Karl Seitz, Chair of The Hyde’s board of trustees, noted: “For us, it’s about enhancing the museum experience and showcasing all we have to offer, and it’s vitally important that we share our passion for The Hyde and our vision for the future with the entire community.”
“These improvements will make the Museum more welcoming, relevant, and accessible,” added Coe.
The work is scheduled to begin mid-March and conclude in mid-May, in time for the opening of the exhibition, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Selections from the Tom Golden Collection.
Gary McCoola is the architect of record.