Lawrence’s Spencer Museum of Art is open again after an $8 million series of renovations that have shut its doors from last spring until now. Because KU students are the Spencer’s biggest audience, the museum threw them a Student Preview Party last Thursday, October 6th to get an exclusive sneak peek at the renovations.
From outside the Spencer, you could see partygoers inside through the glass-encased entryway. Music from local band CS Luxem vibrated off the modern gallery flooring. Tables stocked with food and drink bordered the walls newly lined with windows. Students were having a great time at the Preview Party, but this was just the first step toward a brighter future for the Spencer Museum of Art.
The Spencer was built in 1977 and these are its first large-scale renovations. KU alums may remember it as an isolated, outdated building, with most of its character found only in the artwork it displayed. But now the museum’s doors are not the only thing that are open after these renovations: so is the Spencer’s architecture. Openness was a huge theme with these renovations, something the museum staff hopes will create a new reputation of connectivity and relatability among students. Now it’s a spacious environment filled with organic light, inviting to not only students, but the rest of the Lawrence community and beyond.
The Spencer Museum of Art will celebrate its reopening to the public with festivities planned for this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-16. Details can be found on the Facebook event page. To hear more about the renovations and what they mean for the Spencer, listen in on the FM story below.