The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) opened its doors, with mandatory masking policies in place, to Bowdoin students and the public on July 1, 2021. According to Curatorial Assistant and Manager of Student Programs Sabrina Lin ’21, the reopening was equally anticipated by students and staff.
“There were community members that cried because they were so happy, which feels really special because you get to feel the connection between the institution and the individual people,” Lin said in an interview with the Orient. “You realize it’s not just about the Museum—it’s about everyone who cherishes it and sees a connection to it.”
Co-Director of the Museum Anne Goodyear added that the Museum’s entire staff was in attendance to greet its first guest.
“The first guy to come down did sort of the ‘Rocky’ thing—waved his hands up in the air,” Goodyear said in an interview with the Orient. “There was a sense of great joyfulness.”
After its closure to the public, the BCMA remained open to Bowdoin students for limited hours and for academic purposes.
Goodyear believes that the masking requirement will not deter guests from visiting, observing that the museum has continued to experience plenty of foot traffic.
“The visitation numbers have been excellent, comparable to what visitation has looked like in previous summers around here,” Goodyear said.“There’s a lot of appetite for getting back into the museum!”
As the summer season draws to a close, the BCMA is tailoring its fall programming to the schedules of Bowdoin students. The Museum will be reinstating Thursday evening late hours and continuing to host “Night at the Museum,” an evening event for students.
“We are really hoping to make the Museum a student-friendly space and for students to feel like they can come in whenever they want,” Lin said.
Goodyear echoed Lin’s sentiments and hopes that her work with museum staff will create an intellectually stimulating environment for students.
“We want students to feel as though this is a place they can come together to discuss big ideas [and] think about complex topics that don’t necessarily have a right and wrong but just deserve to be explored through many different lenses,” Goodyear said.
The Museum’s fall semester will kick off with an exhibition curated by BCMA Curatorial Assistant Elizabeth Humphrey: “There is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art.” The exhibition, which will examine the representation of Black women in America through pieces from the Museum’s collection, opens September 16 and will run through January.
“We have an emphasis on collecting work by women artists, especially with the 50th anniversary of the matriculation of women to Bowdoin,” Goodyear said. “We’ve loved helping our audiences see that this fall through our new acquisitions.”