MU Museum announces earlier than expected closing date

Monday, September 23, 2013 | 7:23 p.m. CDT; updated 7:32 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 24, 2013

COLUMBIA – The MU Museum of Art and Archaeology will close its doors to the public Sept. 30 to start its move to a new location north of campus.

Alex Barker, the museum's director, said movers need more time to safely relocate its contents to the Mizzou North building by the end of 2013.

The move is part of the $22.85 million Renew Mizzou project to renovate Jesse, Pickard and Swallow halls. The cost of renovating Mizzou North to accommodate the museum is projected at $1.5 million.

Mizzou North, located at the intersection of Garth Avenue and Business Loop 70 West, is the former site of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

Campus Facilities Communications Manager Karlan Seville said in an email that the renovation of Mizzou North is planned for completion in April. An official reopening date for the museums has yet to be scheduled.

Some MU faculty members have expressed concern that an off-campus relocation for the museum could reduce foot traffic or detract from its academic purpose.

Rachel Harper, coordinator of the humanities sequence in the Honors College, said she doubts students will go to the museum once it has moved off campus.

Barker said the museum is working on a program to bring the museum into local schools in an effort to continue to engage the interest of students after the museum moves off campus.

Harper doesn't think the program is equal to a museum visit, though.

"A small box of objects is not the same as seeing a ... gallery," Harper said.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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Ellis Smith September 24, 2013 | 5:51 a.m.

Again, if the presence of this facility is such a vital learning experience for students, is it being SHARED, through having traveling collections, with the UMKC, UMSL and MS&T campuses? If it is not, why not? Also again, is University of Missouri System a unified entity, or isn't it? It seems only to be unified when that's convenient.

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