The Concord Museum will unveil a portion of the newly renovated and redesigned permanent galleries on October 11, 2019, creating an entirely new experience for visitors. This first phase in the grand reopening of the Museum galleries is part of the Museum’s two-year renovation project and follows the November 2018 opening of the Museum’s Rasmussen Education Center.
For the first time since construction of its original building in 1930, the Museum is replacing outdated mechanical systems and improving visitor flow. “The renovation project is an opportunity to redesign the Museum to better showcase our permanent collection and engage with visitors in exciting new ways.” explained Tom Putman, Edward W. Kane Executive Director of the Concord Museum.
The newly renovated galleries feature a new Gateway to Concordentranceway, a gift of Concord Museum Board President Ralph Earle and his wife Jane Mendillo. The Gateway includes a choreographed media presentation that introduces visitors to the Museum and its collection, as well as a new Museum Shop. The Gatewayalso orients visitors to Concord’s other attractions with a map and photographs highlighting 15 other cultural destinations in Concord.
The twonew galleries to be unveiled in October include an introductory gallery, Concord: At the Center of Revolutionwhich features twelve iconic artifacts, each rich with meaning, that introduce the themes of Concord’s history. These objects allow visitors a rare “brush” with Concords compelling history. Among the artifacts displayed are the powder horn carried by 21-year-old Abner Hosmer who died in the battle of the North Bridge and a copper tea kettle used by Louisa May Alcott while serving as a nurse in the Civil War.
The People ofMusketaquidgallery will highlight the Museum’s extraordinary archeological collection which chronicles Concord’s human history through the past 10,000 years. This will be the first time a singular space in the town of Concord will be dedicated exclusively to the story of the Native people who first lived on these lands. The focal point of the new gallery will be a dramatic glass curtain wall display of over 600 arrow and spear points dramatically arranged in a Native design. Also on exhibit will be contemporary works of art by Wampanoag and Nipmuc artists which will be juxtaposed with fragments from 19thcentury Native crafts from the Museum’s collection.
In addition to these permanent galleries, the Museum will introduce Concord Collects,a temporary exhibition in the Wallace Kane Gallery featuring twenty remarkable works of art from four private Concord collections. One features portraits, including a painting by John Singleton Copley. Another highlights works by some of the most accomplished and influential 19thcentury American painters. The third concentrates on the detailed painted views of the major ports through which China traded with the world in the 18thand 19thcenturies. The final collection features Tang and Song ceramics from the workshops of ancient China. The Presenting Sponsor of Concord Collectsis Skinner, Inc. and the Sustaining Sponsor is Middlesex Savings Bank.
Connected to Concord Collects will be a temporary exhibit in the Gross Family Gallery which highlights unique items from the Concord Museum’s own Collection including the most outstanding clocks, furniture, needlework, and silver that the Museum has collected in recent past. The Lisa H. FooteHistory Learning Centerwill allow visitors to make a deeper connection to the past by taking a closer look at Museum artifacts that are normally not on view.