Bruce Museum Launches Bruce Experiences, New Series of Members-only Events

There are now even more good reasons to become a member of the Bruce Museum. Starting in August, the Bruce will host Bruce Experiences, a new series of lectures and special events, exclusively for Museum members.

The first Bruce Experiences event, A Farm-to-Table Conversation with Chef Ian Vest, will take place at the Museum on Wednesday, August 14, 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Museum members are invited to learn about the latest trends in farm-to-table dining from Ian Vest, Executive Chef of Back 40 Farm Group in Greenwich. Vest was named “Most Innovative Chef” at the 2017 Greenwich Wine & Food Festival, and Food & Wine Magazine named Back 40 Kitchen the Best Farm to Table restaurant in Connecticut.

In a conversation with Suzanne Lio, Managing Director of the Bruce, Chef Vest will discuss such topics as the art of plating, designing a menu, and the science behind farm-to-table cooking. There will be a reception at 6:30 pm featuring light bites and refreshments, with the discussion starting at 7:00 pm. Museum members are requested to register in advance at brucemuseum.org or by calling 203-413-6764. New members are welcome to join at the door.

On Thursday, August 22, 5:30 to 7:00 pm, the Museum invites its members to an Exhibition Closing Celebration, before our summer exhibitions close on September 1. This after-hours viewing with include light refreshments. With Museum docents serving as gallery guides for Sharks!, Summer with the Averys [Milton | Sally | March], and From Butterflies to Battleships: Selections from the Bruce Museum Photography Collection.

“We are so grateful for our members, who help us provide art and science programming for the broader community,” says Membership Manager Laura Freeman. “So we wanted to give them something in return – Bruce Experiences, special opportunities to learn from experts and to connect with other members.”

Future Bruce Experiences events will be held monthly through January 2020; details will be posted on brucemuseum.org.

The benefits of being a Bruce Museum member continue to add up. For starters, Museum members have free access to the dozen or more exhibitions each year, as well as two annual outdoor festivals – one in the fall for fine art, the other in the spring for crafts.

For families, the Museum offers an array of programming for children, among them Bruce Beginnings for preschoolers, Art Adventures and Sunday Science for older kids, and docent-led Gallery Tours on weekends for the entire family.

So what would joining the Bruce be worth to you as a member? Consider the price of annual membership: $65 for a couple or family; $60 for an individual; $40 for a senior, age 65 and older; $35 for a student (children under 5 are admitted free of charge). Leaving aside the fact that membership dues to the Bruce are 100% tax deductible, let’s tally up just some of the benefits Bruce Museum membership offers:

  • Unlimited admission to the Museum and Outdoor Arts and Crafts festivals
    You make three visits a year, and go to one festival: + $40
     
  • Invitations to two Members-only exhibition opening receptions
    You go to both receptions, and enjoy light bites and a glass of wine: + $30
     
  • Free access to exciting lectures and programs
    You attend a lecture about a favorite artist, plus a panel discussion
    about a science topic that piques your interest: + $30

     
  • Access to other art and science institutions in the area
    You visit the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield
    and take some out-of-town friends to the
    Intrepid: Sea, Air & Space Museum;
    o
    r on a trip to Los Angeles you tour the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum: + $70
     
  • 10% discount on Museum Store purchases
    What you saved on a beautiful silk scarf you purchased for Mother’s Day: + $10

That’s a value of at least $180 a year based on your membership dues of $35 to $65. We’d say that membership in the Bruce Museum is more than worth it!

But don’t just take our word. Hear these members describe what being a Bruce Museum member means to them:

“The Bruce Museum has a range of exciting and out-of-the-box rotating art and informative science exhibits, as well as excellent lectures and friendly, informative docents,” says Linda Simon, a member since 1999. “Membership is a great buy because it gives me free admission to several other art museums in the area. It's convenient to reach the Bruce Museum off I-95, and there's plenty of free parking.”

The Bruce Museum is one of Greenwich's treasures,” says Betsy Reiss, who first joined the Bruce in 1982. “I've loved the special events for the exhibitions. Although I don't have children, grandnieces or nephews nearby, I think families must love the numerous programs offered. And the Museum Store is a wonderful place for gifts.”

“We love bringing the kids to the Bruce Museum and to the Seaside Center during the summer,” says Monica Harriss, who joined the Bruce with her family last summer. “The Bruce is the kind of place you can spend one hour or several hours exploring and learn something new every time.”

“I encourage my students to come to the Bruce because often what we talk about and learn in the classroom, comes to life at the Bruce,” says longtime member Joseph Fama, an artist and an art teacher who works with Greenwich Adult Continuing Education, Norwalk Community College, and the Rye Art Center.

For those who seek an even closer connection with the Bruce, there’s our Patron membership ($250 a year; $130 tax deductible), which includes two invitations (with two guest passes) to four exhibition openings. Patrons also enjoy reciprocity to a large number of Museums and Institutions that, like the Bruce, belong to the Museum Alliance Reciprocal Program. Patrons of the Bruce need only show their membership card to visit for free the Brooklyn Museum, the Guggenheim, the Norton Museum of Art, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and many other premier museums across the country.

The highest level of Museum membership is The Robert Bruce Circle. Composed of art enthusiasts and collectors, this exclusive group of Bruce members are invited to attend special tours and cocktail receptions in the private homes of collectors, at museums or auction houses, and at artists’ studios. Robert Bruce Circle membership begins at $2,000 ($1,920 tax-deductible) with five levels offered with increasing member privileges, including a free “gift” membership for the member's designated recipient, complimentary exhibition catalogues, discounts on Museum rentals, private tours of the galleries, and invitations to other exclusive Museum events.

Bottom line? There are many good reasons to become a part of a community based, world-class institution like the Bruce Museum. Last but not least, your membership support allows the Museum to continue to fulfill its mission of promoting the understanding and appreciation of art and science to enrich the lives of all people in the communities we have served for more than a century.

And that benefit, to borrow a phrase, is priceless…