LAWRENCE — The Spencer Museum of Art has received a federal grant for $147,129 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to rehouse the Museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works on paper. The highly competitive Museums for America program awards grants up to $150,000 to strengthen the ability of museums to serve the public.
The grant will allow the Spencer Museum to reorganize and rehouse its collection of prints, drawings, photographs and other works on paper within the expanded storage area created through the Phase I renovation.
“Improved organization and housing will increase the accessibility of this heavily used collection,” said Stephen Goddard, senior curator of works on paper. “University classes from nearly all disciplines utilize these original works of art as primary sources for study and engagement.”
Grant funds will support the hire of a full-time collection assistant and the purchase of object storage supplies. The collection assistant will work with museum staff to reorganize the Spencer’s renowned collection of works on paper. New storage supplies and improved organization will increase the safety of the collection and facilitate greater access for visiting classes and scholars.
“This award comes at a pivotal moment as we enhance our facility with the aim to further integrate the Spencer Museum and its collection into the intellectual fabric of the university,” Spencer Director Saralyn Reece Hardy said.
The Spencer Museum credits generous community support for the Phase I renovation for helping secure this award from IMLS. Grant-funded improvements will complement the $7.4 million renovation project, which is supported by nearly 200 friends, donors and foundations, including an anonymous gift to create the Stephen H. Goddard Object Study Center, a new suite advancing the study and care of the Museum’s collection of works on paper.
“We currently average about 100 classes in the print study room each year. Often these visits address topics we cannot explore via works on view in the galleries alone,” Spencer Curator Kate Meyer said. “The planned renovations combined with this award will directly benefit our ability to store and share this collection and safeguard works on paper for future generations of learners.”