LEGO before Mulvane goes

Kelly Hurla / Washburn Review

Picture this: colorful, tiny, and intricate interlocking building bricks.  Now think of thousands of these bricks and what can be built with them.  Then go to the Mulvane Art Museum and see what Nathan Sawaya can do with them. “The Art of Brick” exhibit at the Mulvane is only available until Sept. 18, when the museum as a whole will temporarily close.

Improvements, investments and looking forward to the future are all in mind for the Mulvane Art Museum.  Heating and cooling replacement, along with the addition of vestibules, are needed to help control the temperature and humidification levels.

“You have to have certain temperature ranges and certain humidification ranges, and right now our equipment is not able to give us those conditions that we require,” said Cindi Morrison, director of the Mulvane Museum of Art.

The proper temperatures to maintain the best care of the artwork and pieces in the museum would ideally be 70 degrees and between 50 and 55 percent humidity.

“It’s hard on the works on paper,” said Morrison. “They are sucking up water and expelling it more than they should be. We are fortunate nothing has been damaged but we really don’t want that to have the opportunity to occur.”

Providing the best care for pieces in the museum’s possession is a top priority.  All together, there are around 4,000 pieces of artwork in the current collection and on loan from other artists and institutions in the museum.

Approximately 50 percent of the artwork includes works on paper. 
Even though the museum will be closed there is no doubt it will remain busy.  During the repairs Morrison predicts Mulvane will be noisy, dusty and hot.  The art lab will remain open so fall classes can continue as scheduled. The gift shop will be relocated, the decision of where to is still pending.

“We hadn’t really planned on this, but it is good timing for us,” Morrison said. “The other option was to close all next summer, and the summer is one of our busiest times during the year.”

In just two months this summer, it was thought that “The Art of Brick” brought in more visitors than the museum had seen in the last two years. Building off of the excitement, the museum has many other exciting exhibits scheduled up to January 2013.  
While you may miss out on the LEGO’s, you don’t have to miss out on the other exhibits coming up at the Mulvane.  
Following the short closing, Mulvane will open with the “Parallel Views” exhibit with work by Miguel Angel Giovanetti and Fernando Pezzino on February 4, 2012. 
The Mulvane Art Museum is on-campus, includes free admission, and many sights to see. So what are you waiting for? LEGO!