DAR Museum Gallery Nears Completion

Written by: WIlliam Strollo, DAR Museum Curator of Exhibitions
May 17, 2018

It's a great feeling when things start coming together. Lately, that feeling has been permeating throughout the museum offices as the work on the museum's study gallery and main gallery nears its completion.

Over the past few weeks, a lot of moving parts started coming together. Construction on the galleries has wrapped up. Gone are the days of drilling, jackhammering, and debris removing. Now that the final coats of paint have dried the next phase of the project begins, the installation of display and storage furniture.

Recently, new cabinets arrived for storage and display of the museum's collection in the study gallery. These cabinets, custom built by Delta Design, will house more than 500 individual objects that visitors to the museum can now look at more closely. Each cabinet has drawers that visitors can pull out. In these drawers are groups of objects, secured under glass, and marked with their object identification number. This new layout allows visitors a closer look at the objects in the museum collection and the ability find out more about each piece. Visitors will also be able to utilize the new research area in order to delve deeper into the collection, via the online collections database.

New open-storage cabinets are now in the study gallery, too. These locked cabinets provide a secure place to store and view some of the numerous objects currently in storage and not previously viewable to the public.

In the new main gallery, changing exhibitions will provide something new for visitors to see every year. A new lighting and picture hanging system provides museum curators greater flexibility when hanging and displaying objects in an exhibition. The new construction and lighting also create a larger, more inviting space that is dedicated to changing exhibitions.

The first exhibition in this new space, Lately Arrived: Recent Additions to the Collection, will feature 60 objects acquired by the museum over the past several years and explore why museums collect certain objects. This exhibit includes new glass display cases, by Casewerks, that not only protect the objects on exhibition but complement the new space. The renovated gallery and new cases give the museum an updated look that is sure to last a long time.

Attendees of this year's Continental Congress will have the first chance to see the new galleries before opening to the public at the end of June.

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