'Growing pains' lead Bruce Museum to temporarily close

Construction on the "New Bruce" expansion and renovation continues at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich has caused the museum to temporarily close.

Construction on the "New Bruce" expansion and renovation continues at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich has caused the museum to temporarily close.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Over the past year there has been a constant stream of closures as arts institutions have worked to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it seems the latest temporary closure at the Bruce Museum is caused by their renovation efforts instead of the virus.

The Greenwich-based museum announced the temporary closure on Jan. 12 for an undisclosed amount of time due to challenges the museum has encountered in their construction project that will result in a 43,000-square-foot addition that will double the size of the museum by fall of 2022.

“We are enduring some of the growing pains associated with any major expansion,” Robert Wolterstorff, the Susan E. Lynch executive director said. “We had two really great special exhibitions on view, and were hearing from our visitors how much they were enjoying them. I’m very hopeful that we will reopen soon.”

While the museum is closed to in person visits the Bruce will continue to hold virtual programming and will make the affected exhibits available for online viewing. The two shows impacted by the temporary closing include “She Sweeps with Many-Colored Brooms: Paintings and Prints by Emily Mason” which opened on Nov. 22, 2020 and was scheduled to be on view through March 21 and the “Fun / No Fun: Children’s Book Art by James Stevenson” which opened Dec. 12, 2020 and was scheduled to run through April 18.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause museum members and other visitors, especially lovers of the wonderful illustrations created by James Stevenson and the dazzling abstract paintings and prints by Emily Mason,” Wolterstorff added. “The entire museum staff will continue to bring exhibitions to the public online, as well as offer programs to educate and entertain all ages through our website and social media channels.”

Virtual programs relating to the “Fun/No Fun” exhibition will take place as planned. They include an art workshop on Jan. 16 at 11 a.m. Teaching artist Emily Curran will conduct a Zoom webinar for families about how to create your own illustrated story inspired by James Stevenson’s illustrations and drawings.

The museum will still move ahead with a three-part weekly series of printmaking workshops with Nancy McTague-Stock, beginning on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. and a Bruce Experiences virtual conversation about Emily Mason’s printmaking techniques featuring master printmakers Janis Stemmermann and Lisa Mackie, along with Steven Rose, director of the Emily Mason and Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation. The discussion will be presented via a Zoom webinar on Jan. 28, 7 p.m.

For more information about the workshops and webinars and to make a reservation to participate, visit brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376, ext. 311.

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com