Museum Magazine, Winter 2009, Number 54

Museum Magazine, Winter 2009, Number 54

From the Director, Alex W. Barker

Value and Visitation

For more than fifty years the Museum of Art and Archaeology has served the community, the campus and area colleges, providing access to masterpieces from antiquity to the present and from all areas of the world. Its galleries and its programs are free, and serve the changing needs of audiences as diverse as elementary schoolchildren and Alzheimer’s patients, from preschool classes to University graduate seminars, and everything in between.

Ceramic masterpieces, from ancient Greek vases to pottery by Pablo Picasso? Right here. Renaissance masterworks? Plenty. Medieval manuscripts and twenty-first century street art? Yep. And exhibitions featuring both our permanent collections and traveling shows, bringing the world to Columbia and mid-Missouri. In the year to come we’ll present Driven, a national juried traveling show featuring works by fifteen emerging artists with disabilities, and Pre-Columbian Textile Art: Design That Speaks Today, an exhibition examining Pre- Columbian textiles from the viewpoint of a modern fiber artist. We’re planning exhibitions including The Sacred Feminine: Prehistory to Post-Modernity, addressing how women and the numinous are portrayed over time, Narratives of Process and Time in the Prints of Jörg Schmeisser and a national traveling exhibition of ancient metalwork, Ancient Bronzes of the Asian Grasslands from the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation.

What’s that worth to you? What value do you place on having free access to Baroque paintings, Egyptian canopic jars, Ghandaran statues and African tribal art, or to programs showcasing the world’s cultural and artistic heritage?

To succeed, to survive, museums like ours have to focus our efforts on our mission, and make our mission relevant to the diverse audiences we serve. And that’s where you come in—literally. One of the most important but underappreciated ways you can support the Museum is by being a frequent visitor. Yes, of course, financial support is crucial, especially for a museum that offers all of its programs without charge. And we’ve made it easier than ever to support the Museum financially. Visit our website to see how. But coming to the Museum, showing your support by enjoying what we do and telling us how to do it better, is also crucial. We want you here, and we want to hear what you think of our exhibitions, our programs, and how far we’ve come in our continuing pursuit of excellence.

I’m asking for your support. If you can afford to make a charitable gift to support the Museum, be assured that at times like these your generosity is more appreciated than ever. But I’d also like something equally valuable— your time. Come to the Museum, enjoy all we have to offer, and show what value you place on free, high quality arts programs.

And I’ll see you at the Museum.

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Museum Galleries are CLOSED.
The Museum is preparing to move to a new location at the lower east level of Ellis Library in the center of the MU campus.
Reopening date is as yet unknown. It is hope that the galleries will be open by Spring/Summer 2022.

"I still remember the feeling of awe and disbelief when I was alone and walked in the room with those casts." --Ruth Tofle, chair of architecture, winner of the 2013 distinguished faculty award from the MU Alumni Association