The Museum will be closed from spring 2015 until the project’s completion, slated for mid-2016.

Phase I represents the first major modifications to the Museum since the building was completed in 1977. Renovations will address long-term accessibility issues and storage needs. Expanded visitor and instructional spaces will allow an increase in class and tour capacity, allowing the Museum to serve more learners across Kansas and beyond. Additional storage will accommodate a growing collection and allow us to share more works of art with students and researchers.

Phase I will provide a complete renovation of the Museum’s entry lobby and central court, expand the teaching gallery, introduce a multi-use object study room, and expand storage and research facilities.

Specific features include:
→ A glass-encased entryway welcoming visitors with natural light
→ An expanded lobby for visitor services, doubling current square footage
→ New flooring and ceilings in select gallery spaces
→ An elevator and staircase connecting third- and fourth-floor galleries
→ A two-story window feature, allowing natural light inside the galleries and connecting the Museum to the historic Marvin Grove
→  An expanded object study area and teaching gallery, allowing for an increase in class and tour capacity, and adding new technologies and research stations
→ Increased storage for the Museum’s collection of works on paper, which is frequently accessed for teaching and research

Even though galleries are closed, the Museum is as active as ever. We’re hard at work keeping collections safe and secure, publications on deadline, and community and educational programs new and exciting. Here are just a few examples of how staff will stay busy during the next year: Curators are continuing research and planning exhibitions for when the building reopens. Education and Academic Programs staff continue to engage University classes and local schools with the Spencer’s collection. Our education and outreach teams are planning AT LARGE events and programs to bring the Spencer to you while renovation is underway.

Internationally acclaimed architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners is leading the project, with Sabatini & Associates of Lawrence as an associate architect. Mar Lan Construction will carry out the renovation.

Future changes include expansion of the Museum’s footprint and square footage with an emphasis on object study spaces and exhibition galleries.