Next Month, McMullen Museum Will Open With Tripled Exhibition Space

Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art will debut its new renovated space at 2101 Commonwealth Avenue this September. The space will include several galleries on three floors containing manuscripts and sculptures.

The opening celebration at the McMullen Museum will be held Sept. 10 and 11 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Lectures will be given by Nancy Netzer and Jeffrey F. Hamburger, a curator of the “Beyond Words” exhibition.

The renovation, funded in part by a gift from the McMullen Family Foundation, triples the museum’s exhibition areas and adds a 7,000-square-foot glass atrium. The glass addition is three stories tall, allowing natural light to enter the space.

The glass atrium showcases a stained-glass triptych by American stained glass artist John La Farge. The 127-year-old piece was a gift from McMullen Museum patrons William and Alison Vareika, parents of BC students. The atrium also contains a temporary exhibition called “Global Convergences” that features eight paintings by BC art professor Andrew Tavarelli.

The renovation of the landmark building has created a state-of-the-art facility, director and professor of art history Nancy Netzen said in a press release statement from the museum. The museum will have a leading role in presenting exhibitions of international importance she said.

The second floor of the museum houses the Daley Family Gallery, while the third floor houses an open-plan sculpture gallery with movable walls and the Monan Gallery.

“The new facility provides a more welcoming and accessible venue with expanded features for members of the community,”Jacqueline McMullen, a benefactor of the museum, said in the press release statement.

The museum’s first exhibit, “Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections,” will be the largest exhibit of illuminated manuscripts from medieval and Renaissance times in North America. The exhibition will also be displayed concurrently at Harvard University’s Houghton Library and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Along with the new physical space, the museum will launch a student ambassador program to employ BC students to do various tasks for the museum, including greeting visitors and expanding the museum’s social media presence.

Featured Image by James Clark / Heights Staff

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Chris is the associate news editor for The Heights. He is from Manhattan, N.Y. and can talk about his love for New York City for hours. You can follow him on Twitter @chris_heights.