Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New Look for Museum

The Museum of The Albemarle will offer one last look at the “Our Story” exhibit in the Madrin Gallery as the doors of the gallery will close this weekend for a total renovation. According to Administrator Ed Merrell, “Bids were finalized and work is to begin next week to complete ‘Our Story’-the story of the Albemarle region”. Don Pendergraft, Exhibit Design Chief said, “We’ve been working closely over the last two years with designers, construction firms, and the Division of State History Museums through a long bidding process to finalize what we want our main gallery to look like. Now we’re very excited to actually start the building phase.” Pendergraft adds that there are over 700 artifacts that will be displayed in the newly renovated gallery, bringing many of the items out of protective storage to be put on display. “Many display cases are being constructed along with descriptive panels to help tell the overall story,” he said. The Jackson House and the Proctor Smokehouse will remain as anchors to the gallery, but there will be much more for the public to experience.
According to Merrell, the $1.7 million raised by a capital campaign over a 3-year period will fund the construction of “Our Story.” “The State funded the physical building with the agreement that we would have to raise private monies to pay for the display and execution of the gallery’s artifacts,” Merrell said. The Madrin Gallery is expected to remain closed throughout the fall, and into the winter.
Work is now in progress to complete the Discovery Room that will feature many “hands-on” history displays and interactivities for children. In addition, the Museum will continue with its educational programs scheduled through the year, such as a Mother-Daughter Tea Party and Boo!! during the month of October. Beginning in September, the Museum will hold monthly Pre-schooler Time programs and Historical Roundtable lectures, as well as several holiday programs and workshops during the month of December. The 19th annual “A Day on the River: Featuring the Classic Moth Boat” scheduled for September 15th, will provide educational programs and events for people of all ages, beginning with the small boat races at 11:00 am that can be seen along the Elizabeth City waterfront. Other event and program offerings of the day will be held on the Museum Green and the front porch of the Museum, beginning at 10:00 am.
During the renovation of the Madrin Gallery, visitors will not be disappointed and are invited to visit featured exhibits within the lobby and classrooms. Opening in September: “Ansel Adams in the East: Cruising the Inland Waterway”, in November “The Search for Queen Anne’s Revenge” followed by “Quilts from the Museum of The Albemarle’s Collection,” and “Christmas Decorations and Toys from the Past” in December.
For more information, please call the Museum (252) 335-1453. The Museum of the Albemarle is located at 501 South Water Street, Elizabeth City. Free Admission.

Thomas Spagnol
Communication Specialist
Museum of the Albemarle
501 S. Water Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

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