Muscarelle Museum of Art, Constructed 1981-1982

The Muscarelle Museum of Art is located in Lamberson Hall between Morton Hall and Phi Beta Kappa Hall on the new campus area of William & Mary. Its mission is to provide a rich cultural resource for the community and to pursue an active role in the overall cultural life of the region through collections, outreach and educational programs, research and study, and the presentation of exhibitions and works of art.

In the 1970s, there were dozens of paintings scattered throughout campus desperately in need of protection and care. A survey of all art on campus owned by William & Mary was conducted by Miles Chappell, a professor in the Art History Department, at the request of President Thomas A. Graves, Jr. The Board of Visitors authorized the preparation of working drawings for the museum in 1981 after Joseph L. Muscarelle, class of 1927, and his wife, Margaret P. Muscarelle, gave $600,000 to the construction of the museum. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 6, 1981, and the museum was dedicated on October 21, 1983.

The Museum opened in 1983 with Glenn Lowry (later director at MOMA in New York) as the first director and underwent a major building construction and remodeling project in 1987, which resulted in a facility twice the original size. In 1988, the museum became the first college or university museum of art in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. The color wall, "Sun Sonata," was a featured part of the museum's exterior at this time. The glass side wall is a series of colored solar water tubes designed by Gene Davis in 1987.

Images

Muscarelle Museum of Art, 2015

Muscarelle Museum of Art, 2015

The exterior of the Muscarelle Museum of Art in 2015. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Muscarelle under construction, circa 1988

Muscarelle under construction, circa 1988

A circa 1988 image of the construction of the Muscarelle Museum of Art. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Dedication of the Muscarelle Museum, 1983

Dedication of the Muscarelle Museum, 1983

An image from the dedication ceremony of the Muscarelle Museum that took place on October 21, 1983. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Muscarelle interior, undated

Muscarelle interior, undated

An undated image of the interior ground floor of the Muscarelle Museum of Art. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Herman Graphic Arts Studio Room, circa 1985

Herman Graphic Arts Studio Room, circa 1985

A photograph circa 1980s of the Herman Graphic Arts Studio Room inside the Muscarelle Museum of Art. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

"Sun Sonata", undated

"Sun Sonata", undated

An undated image of "Sun Sonata" on the exterior of the Muscarelle Museum of Art at night. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

"Sun Sonata", 2000

"Sun Sonata", 2000

An image of "Sun Sonata" at dusk at the Muscarelle Museum in 2000. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Muscarelle Museum, Undated

Muscarelle Museum, Undated

A color photograph of the entrance to the Muscarelle Art Museum. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Museum with the Muscarelles, undated

Museum with the Muscarelles, undated

An undated image of the Muscarelle Art Museum featuring the image of Joseph and Margaret Muscarelle, who were the largest donors when the museum was gifted to the university by alumni and friends. | Source: University Archives Photograph Collection, UA 8. | Creator: College of William and Mary. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary., “Muscarelle Museum of Art, Constructed 1981-1982,” TribeTrek, accessed July 24, 2017, http://tribetrek.wm.edu/items/show/32.
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