Closed for Summer Renovations

last edited on Mon. June 27 2022

Project to expand and enhance study room

The Smart Museum of Art will temporarily close for planned renovations to its study room and other facilities work this summer, June 27–September 21, 2022.

As a primary focus of the work, the gallery-adjacent study room will receive its first major update since the space opened in 1999. The study room renovation, which is supported through capital project funds from the University of Chicago, will expand and enhance this critical site of access to the Smart Museum’s collection for use in research and teaching.  

The renovation will nearly double the study room’s current footprint, to more than 700 square feet. Improvements to lighting, furnishing, and art display infrastructure will offer faculty partners new and more flexible options to teach from curated selections of artworks, chosen in collaboration with the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry. The renovated space will also allow a greater range of configurations to encourage individual reflection or group discussion. These changes will allow works of different media, from prints to hanging scrolls to sculpture, to be brought together in the study room. Together, these changes will help the Smart Museum meet a broader variety of teaching, learning, and individual research needs. In addition, the study room renovations open the potential for new, public program uses as a flexible space for discussions and talks in dialogue with art not otherwise on view. 

“The Smart Museum’s study room is a space of inspiration and discovery that invites UChicago students to intimately engage, learn about, and learn from works of art,” said Stephanie Smith, Interim Director of the Smart Museum. “This is an exciting moment to think with the Feitler Center team and all of the Museum’s collaborators about ways to further activate the collection within the University’s curriculum, and to experiment with new ways for this space to serve as a resource for our broader publics.”

Concurrent with the study room renovation, the Smart Museum’s summer capital project will include elements to enhance visitors’ experience at the Museum’s entrance, make improvements to visitor and building signage, and update other back-of-house spaces within the building’s existing footprint.

These capital improvements are made possible by the University of Chicago. The project is being managed by UChicago Facilities Services and the Smart Museum staff, with partners Bulley & Andrews and Wheeler Kearns Architects. 

The Museum is scheduled to reopen to the public on Thursday, September 22, 2022 with fully reinstalled galleries showcasing the expansive exhibition Monochrome Multitudes and a new Museum as Classroom installation organized by the Feitler Center.

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