Museum to close for £1.6 million redevelopment

How MUSA will look after the development.
How MUSA will look after the development.

The Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) is to close this summer for a major redevelopment and extension.

The facility will be closed for 18 months during the £1.6 million works, which will enable the building to host important artworks and collections, as well as more of the university’s own collection.

During the period of closure, digital resources will be launched to enable access to the collections.

The museum is currently running at capacity, with the education space full booked and insufficient space for a regular programme of temporary exhibitions.

The new extension will provide two new galleries for temporary exhibitions, with the smaller of the two galleries allowing the Museum Collections Unit to work closer with local community groups to create exhibitions and for university academics to showcase their research to the public.

Emma Jane Wells, co-director of the Museum Collections Unit said: “We are very excited about this development, which will be the largest change that MUSA has undergone since its opening 10 years ago.

“The two new exhibition spaces will allow us to extend and improve the exhibitions on offer, allowing us to display major travelling exhibitions from national and international institutions.

“It will also enable us to work more closely with community groups and schools as well as with the University’s own academics and students.

“While we are closed, two of the permanent galleries will also be completely re-modelled so that when we re-open in 2019, there will be even more for our visitors to see and enjoy.”

In addition to the two new galleries in the extension, the works will add a new studio/workroom for seminar groups to study the museum’s collections and an improved environmental control system which will offer better control of conditions across the various galleries. This means it will be able to display a greater variety of environmentally sensitive works.

The museum, which has been based at The Scores since 2008, attracts around 35,000 visitors per year, including more than 2000 school children who took part in organised events and workshops.

The University of St Andrews has more than 115,000 items within its museum collections, however, the vast majority of these are in storage.

MUSA’s extensive range of items is now available to search online, via the museum website.

For the first time, visitors will be able to search themselves for information about the University’s collections and to learn about the vast range of objects held.

For more information about the museum and its collections, visit https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/musa/.