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Art Museum at University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford Receives Grant

USJ Art Museum. Courtesy photo

The Art Museum at the University of Saint Joseph has received a grant from the national Endowment for the Humanities to allow for a sustainable environment study for the museum’s collection.

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The Art Museum at University of Saint Joseph (USJ) has received nearly $30,000 in grant funds for Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The planning grant will allow the Art Museum to conduct an optimization study of its mechanical system to create a sustainable preservation climate for its collection.

“Our collection of more than 2,100 works of art is highly valued by our students, faculty, and community members, who cherish the educational opportunities offered by the Art Museum,” said Ann H. Sievers, director and curator of the Art Museum. “We are grateful to the NEH for this planning grant that will take us another step toward creating an appropriate and sustainable environment for our collection. This is a key investment in the Art Museum’s future.”

The NEH’s Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant will enable an optimization study conducted by Preservation Consultant Jeremy Linden and a team from USJ. It will determine the actual capability of existing equipment, including total dehumidification and humidification, identify optimal operating conditions to support both collection preservation and energy efficiency, and develop a strategic plan for potential capital investment and renovations.

The project team will compile and analyze data recording the mechanical system’s processes and the Museum’s environmental conditions across Connecticut’s four distinct seasons, considering the operation’s impact on both collection preservation and energy efficiency. The study’s final written report will also make recommendations for future capital investment in systems, controls, or other factors to improve preservation quality or energy performance.

The NEH award follows the Art Museum’s achievement of accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums.

AAM accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. USJ’s Art Museum is one of only two academic art museums accredited in Connecticut.

The Art Museum, University of Saint Joseph is located in Bruyette Athenaeum on the University’s main campus at 1678 Asylum Ave., West Hartford. It is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday: 11 a.m.- 7 p.m.; and Sunday: 1-4 p.m.; closed Monday. Admission is free.

The Art Museum is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail. For more information, visit www.usj.edu/artmuseum or call 860-231-5399.

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