Just a few months after receiving a major donation and announcing plans for building renovation, the J.B. Speed Art Museum on the University of Louisville campus has released word this week of plans to undergo a renovation of another kind.
Besides “the continuation of plans for expanding and revitalizing its facility,” the museum announced via a press release statement that it is planning “a comprehensive analysis of the Museum’s collection, and new exhibition and programming strategies.”
So what does this mean, exactly?
First, according to the release, “Director Charles L. Venable, along with the Speed’s curatorial staff, a team of eminent art historians and scholars, and in consultation with Trustee leadership, is in the midst of a comprehensive and systematic review of the Museum’s 14,000-piece collection.“
Some of those helping with this collection review include national and international experts such as Dr. Walter Liedke of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Michael Gregory of Arnold Wiggins and Sons in London.
At this point, the team is said to be half-way through the museum collection and “their scholarship is shedding new light on the significance of key pieces,” and strengthening the accuracy of information the museum will be able to offer.
Also as a part of these efforts, the museum will soon unveil an online, searchable database of its entire collection. The first phase of this database is hoped to be operational this fall.
The second way in which the Speed is “renovating” its operation pertains to continuing efforts to offer programs and events that will “encourage visitors to engage with art in new ways.” The museum points to success in this area already with recent initiatives like the Art Sparks program (the Speed’s interactive education center), the Speed Concert Series, and the late-night Brown-Forman Art After Dark program that has combined “visual arts with contemporary music, film, and theater.” The museum plans to find further ways to keep the organizations programs fresh and attention-getting.
Photo courtesy of Hunter Embry