Bruce Museum of Arts and Science


Bruce Museum of Arts and Science

The Bruce Museum of Arts and Science is a small institution in downtown Greenwich, Connecticut with both art and science exhibition space. "The Bruce," as it's more familiarly known, has holdings of about 15,000 objects, including fine art, decorative art, natural history and anthropology.http://www.greenwichct.org/BruceMuseum/BruceMuseum.asp Town of Greenwich Web page on The Bruce, accessed on July 1, 2006]

A second location is maintained at Greenwich Point Park, focusing on beach-related exhibits, including a touch-tank. The museum also has a "Brucemobile" with exhibits in a traveling van. The museum hosts frequent lectures and social events.

Members total about 3,000, and over 500 volunteers contribute a total of more than 1,400 hours of their time each year. It has 32 full-time employees and nine more part-timers.

The Bruce's main building at 1 Museum Drive, sits on a hill in a downtown park, and its tower (not open to the public) can be easily seen by drivers passing by on Interstate 95.

Exhibits at the museum change sixteen times a year, according to the museum, [http://www.brucemuseum.org/aboutus/history.php?page=3 Bruce Museum Web site history page (page 3) accessed on July 1, 2006] or fourteen times a year, if you believe the town's Web page on the Bruce.

Art holdings

The art collection has a strong emphasis on the Cos Cob School, an Impressionist school, including paintings by Childe Hassam, Emil Carlsen and Leonard and Mina Fonda Ochtman. Sculpture includes nineteenth and twentieth century work by Auguste Rodin, Hiram Powers, Frederick MacMonnies and George Segal. [http://www.brucemuseum.org/collections/index.php?collection=art Bruce Museum Web site, "Collections" page, "Art" accessed on July 1, 2006]

Permanent Exhibits

The museum has permanent exhibits focusing on geology, paleontology, archeology, local Native Americans, natural history, and the effects of man on the areas around Greenwich. There are several display cases with mineral specimens, including a touchable meteorite, large mineral crystals from around the world and minerals that glow in black light. Part of a Northeast woodland wigwam has been created as a seating area to learn about Native Americans, and there is a model of an archaeological dig. There are several cases focusing on the changes in the land and environment of Greenwich from pre-settler days up until the early 1900s. A large exhibit focuses on different prehistoric eras and fossils associated with those times. A fifteen foot diorama displays local woodland wildlife. Other display cases show more birds and animals found in the area. A marine tank holds live small fish, crabs and sea stars for close examination.

Comments on the museum

A reviewer for the "Wall Street Journal" praised the "urbane Peter C. Sutton [director of the museum] , a splendidly connected director of impeccable academic credentials, the Bruce -- with nothing to loan -- has been scoring quite a few coups of late. (A fall show of the 17th-century master Jan van der Heyden, inventor of the cityscape, is a joint project with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.)" The reviewer also mentioned Sutton's partnership with Edgar Peters Bowron, a curator of European art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the art historian Robert Rosenblum for the museum's exhibition on the dog in art, which garnered loans from The Louvre, the Prado and other major museums. [ [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115257134724802732-search.html?KEYWORDS=Greenwich%2C+Connecticut&COLLECTION=wsjie/6month] "At This Art Exhibition, Dogs Are Hot," (`a review of the exhibition "The Dog in Art From Rococo to Post-Modernism," at the Bruce Museum) by Matthew Gurewitsch, "The Wall Street Journal" July 11, 2006; Page D5; accessed August 23, 2006]

History

In 1908, Robert Moffat Bruce (1822-1908), a wealthy textile merchant, deeded the home he had originally bought in 1858 to the town of Greenwich with the stipulation that it be used "as a Natural History, Historical and Art Museum, for the use and benefit of the public." [http://www.brucemuseum.org/aboutus/history.php History page at The Bruce Museum Web site, accessed on July 1, 2006]

The first exhibition featured works by the Greenwich Society of Artists, several of whom were members of the Cos Cob Art Colony. The museum hosted the society's annual exhibition from 1912 to 1926. Artwork from the Cos Cob School forms the nucleus of the Museum's holdings.

In 1992 governance of the museum was restructured, with the Bruce Museum, Inc. established as a non-profit organization. That same year the museum started a project to completely renovate its building.

When it reopened in September 1993, museum featured an architectural structure wrapped around the original building, housing galleries for art on one side of the main pavilion with galleries of environmental history on the other.

"Continued growth over the years in attendance, exhibitions, public programs, and collections is leading the Bruce to undertake an architectural study of its future space and facilities needs," according to the Town of Greenwich Web page on the Bruce.

Events

Lectures, etc.

The Bruce's Bantle Lecture Gallery has more than 100 events each year related to exhibitions and collections. Regular events include the "Hascoe Art Lecture Series," "Science Lecture Series," "Dinner-Lecture Series," "Trips and Tours," the "Robert Bruce Circle," and the singles' event "Fridays in the Round."

Family Days, Music and Workshops

The Bruce hosts "Family Days," "Music at the Bruce" concerts for children and adults, and special teachers' workshops.

Arts and Crafts Festivals

Each October the museum presents the Outdoor Arts Festival and each May its Outdoor Crafts Festival. Both are juried events featuring artisans from across the country.

References

External links

* [http://www.brucemuseum.org/ The Bruce Museum]
* [http://www.greenwichct.org/BruceMuseum/BruceMuseum.asp Town of Greenwich Web page on The Bruce]
*Bush-Holley House
* [http://www.greenwichct.org/ParksAndRec/prFABrucePark.pdf A description (from the town government Web site) of the convert|60.1|acre|m2|sing=on Bruce Park on which the museum is located.]


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