The Museum staff would like to share some additional information about the upcoming move to the former Palmer Hall dormitory. The completely renovated building will be the Museum’s fifth home, having been previously located in the basement of Tribble Hall, Barn No. 1 in Reynolda Village, Barn No. 2 in Reynolda Village, and in its current home in the Anthropology Building since 1987. After more than 30 years, the Museum’s staff, collections, and programming have outgrown the building.
The new building will have larger and more flexible galleries, allowing student curators and staff more options in customizing the space for specific exhibits. It will include full-sized offices for all of the Museum staff members, a feature lacking in the current building. The new education classroom will be bigger to accommodate larger school groups and provide more space for programs and events. The Museum will gain space for a collections and curation lab, creating a dedicated area for researchers, interns, and WFU classes to interact with MOA objects.
The new building will also include onsite collections storage, a feature the Museum has not had in a number of years. The new storage area will be fitted with custom-designed movable shelving system. Much of the MOA’s ethnographic collection will be relocated onsite to allow for easier access for exhibits, research, and WFU class use. Additional space in the building will be used to store exhibit cases, installation supplies, folding chairs, and other necessities, a significant improvement over the current lack of functional storage space.
The MOA plans to close to the public over the summer in order to tackle the enormous task of moving the Museum and collections and installing new exhibits. The MOA will continue to offer summer education programs for childcare groups, camps, and the libraries, but they will be available as outreach during the closure. Based on the current construction schedule, the Museum will close on May 30 and reopen in the early fall. Because the exact timing is still variable, the Museum will make upcoming announcements about the specific reopening date. Rest assured, however, that the staff will be hard at work during the closure to make sure that the new building offers the very best experience for the Museum’s patrons. Please follow the Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @wfumoa for the latest updates on the move!