University to postpone relocation of two museum collections

The University Museum’s plan to move two collections into the Fine Arts Building this spring have been postponed until fall 2015, allowing artifacts to be temporarily loaned to other museums and galleries until the grand opening.

The Treganza and Sutro Egyptian collections were originally scheduled for a spring 2015 move into FA 203, but the safety concerns of dance students over moving into a temporary space in McKenna Theater has delayed the relocation of the collections.

“It delays an opening by a semester, but that’s (a) small price to pay to ensure the safety of our dancers,” said Daniel Bernardi, interim dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts, adding that there are plans to convert another large space in FA 203 for curricular and storage needs.

The relocation of the collections and dance studio comes as the LCA attempts to optimize space that is currently spread into six different buildings across campus, according to Bernardi.

“Having the extra semester is very helpful and it respects the process that dance has been going through,” said Edward Luby, museum studies professor and director. “You walk into a situation where you can do some good, and we are doing good to make the University happy.”

The recently unveiled Treganza collection has been in the stewardship of Luby since last semester when it resurfaced out of the Science Building, where it had been stored for almost 20 years.

“In the past, the Treganza collection was linked to the anthropology department,” Bernardi said. “However, anthropology is a department and its faculty are responsible for teaching and research — not archiving, conservation, inventory control, etc.”

Previously, there was one person with the proper credentials assigned to do that work, Bernardi added. The collection is now in the hands of a professional to fit the desires of anthropology faculty.

Since its rediscovery, Luby has been given support in terms of supplies and the resources required to take care of the collection.
On the other hand, the Sutro Egyptian collection, which is currently housed in the fifth floor of the Humanities Building at the University Museum, has no plans to reopen before the move but a few items will be loaned to the San Francisco International Airport Museum.

“They are an excellent museum. This is a way to get our collections out there,” Luby said, adding that the airport museum already has a few pieces of the collection and they are getting ready to exhibit the pieces in the next couple of months, but will not include any mummies.

The Sutro Egyptian collection houses over 1,000 diverse pieces from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome societies. Within the collection are two mummified remains, one of which is considered to be one of three sarcophagus triple-nesting mummies in the nation, called Nes-Per-N-Nub. The second mummy is referred to as Yellow Sarcophagus, also from ancient Egypt.

The Treganza collection currently carries artifacts from Mexico, China, Philippines, East Asia and South America, and will be loaning out its items to the Fine Arts Gallery.

“We are going to continue and re-house the collection,” Luby said of the Treganza collection, adding that the extra semester does not affect any plans to move into the new space next spring.

The number of pieces that will be loaned to the Fine Arts Gallery is currently unknown, the gallery director and Luby will have to decide what artifacts will best fit the gallery’s current exhibit.

Luby also mentioned that museum studies graduate students will be helping with the relocation every step of the way.

“Having more time to plan everything can only be useful,” said museum studies graduate student Sophie Laidler. “The students will continue to be involved in proper planning and organization, and we can have the new students next year start the year with a great project.”

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