The past week has been a busy and exciting one for CMA. If you’ve ever worked on a long-term project, you know that as you are in the day-to-day process of planning and preparing, it’s difficult to imagine that moment when it all comes together and becomes real. Last week we had not one, but two projects, come to fruition.
For the past several years we have (and continue to) been raising funds and developing plans for the renovation and expansion of the Museum. And while it has been an extremely exciting process, it has also, up to this point, seemed like an abstract idea that was eons away, until now. Last Wednesday as I pulled into the parking lot, I saw the doors to Beaton Hall open and the construction people busily working on the building! At that moment the project truly became a reality. CMA is on its way!
For those of you who don’t know, Beaton is the small building located behind the Museum toward the northwest. It was named for Mr. Ralph H. Beaton who donated $60,000 in 1929, the first year of the Great Depression, for the construction of a new building for the Columbus Art School, what would later become the Columbus College of Art and Design.
The dedication of Beaton Hall was held on October 12, 1930. The new Beaton Hall facility was described as having “seven spacious, modernly equipped studios to insure perfect working conditions in both day and evening classes.”
In 1887, the Columbus Art School became affiliated with the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts (which later became the Columbus Museum of Art) and was housed in Beaton Hall. In 1981 CCAD became an independent institution but continued to use Beaton Hall for classrooms until 2006 when use reverted to the Columbus Museum of Art. Until recently the building was used as office space for 24 CMA staff members. When the renovation is complete, it will house 50 staff members, freeing up space in the main building for public spaces.
And speaking of projects finally coming together, this past Friday, To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum opened to fantastic crowds! You really have to see this exhibition. Egypt is one of those fantastic fascinations of childhood that we never seem to outgrow. And, did I mention, there is a MUMMY! Click here for more information about the show.