The SF State community will have to wait a little bit longer to see artifacts from around the world at the new Global Museum in the Fine Arts Building on campus. The exhibition reopening has been postponed to early Spring 2016 due to construction delays, according to the museum studies program webpage.
Daniel Bernardi, interim dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts, said that the discovery of a concrete subfloor during the construction of the new dance studio in the Creative Arts Building pushed back the opening of the museum, since the museum is taking over the dance studio’s old space in the Fine Arts Building.
“The university community can expect that the collections it houses are done so with the upmost of respect and professionalism, that our educational mission is advanced to one of the world’s best museum studies programs and that the community will have access to some amazing diverse cultural artifacts,” Bernardi said.
The museum was previously on the fifth floor of the Humanities building, which Edward Luby, director and chief curator of the museum studies program, said, “wasn’t the greatest.” He stated the move would not only provide greater visibility and attract more viewers to the collections, but would also “reflect more of the needs of today.” With proper climate control, ventilation and lighting, the new location will provide the appropriate conditions to house the collections, Luby said.
The themes of each exhibit are still being developed, but Luby noted the Egyptian collection would feature the well-known mummy, Nes-Per-N-Nub. “Nes” is a triple-nested mummy with three sarcophagi, and wows school groups from the community that come to visit, according to Luby. Cultural artifacts from Oceania and Africa from the former Treganza collection will be presented as well.
Luby said he also sees the delay as the perfect teaching opportunity for his graduate students. SF State’s museum studies department is the only one of its kind in the entire California State University and University of California systems, and students from all over the country and across the world come to study in the department, according to Luby. The program currently offers an exhibition design and planning course to further involve students with the museum reopening.
“In putting this museum together, we have this incredible opportunity to have our students work in this museum,” Luby said. “It is unusual in a museum studies program to have a real, functioning museum where we will put exhibits on, have education programs and really help be a part of this cultural hub on campus, and the dean is really supportive of it in the Fine Arts Building.”
Kelsey Clark, one of the co-presidents of the Museum Studies Student Association, has been working with Luby and other students to prepare for the collections’ final transition into the museum. Clark said that the delays have allowed the team to give their full attention to each object that will be going on display in the spring.
“This has translated to real-world opportunities for museum studies to enact the best practices we are learning in class,” Clark said. “We are going to be able to enter into careers with practical experience building a museum from the ground up. Not everyone can say that.”
Luby remains excited for the opening, as well as the education and community that the museum will bring.
“Students are going to be involved in every element of running this museum and since we’re a pre-professional program, I can’t think of anything better than to actually give them experience running this,” Luby said. “It’s the best combination of how you combine academics and practice.”