The NEW Bruce: A Status Report

Above: An artist’s rendering of the Big Back Yard Gallery, which will combine real insect specimens with giant models to reveal the ways tiny creatures can play a big role in our environment. To learn more about the Cycles permanent science exhibition, please click here to view the new website developed by Curator of Science Dr. Daniel Ksepka.

These are challenging times, but we nevertheless remain optimistic about the future. We will get through this pandemic together, and not that long from now we will gather again at the Bruce Museum to engage in culture and enjoy each other’s company.

The Bruce Museum is in this for the long run—our goal is education and delight, around Science and Art. These are eternal values. We need them now more than ever before. In that spirit, we are writing to let you know that the NEW Bruce is still moving forward.  

You may be surprised to learn that Turner Construction Company has been working in the building since early April—with careful social distancing—to renovate the former permanent science galleries, and to prepare for the creation of an entirely new permanent exhibit, Cycles, over the next 14 months. We are also planning a dramatically expanded new permanent installation of the mineral collection—more on that in a few weeks.

  •   In February, before the lockdown began, Museum staff removed all the exhibits from the beloved Changes in our Land exhibition and dismantled the cases.
  •   On April 6, Turner Construction Company began demolition in the space. Construction of the new space is already well under way.
  •   Meanwhile, our Exhibitions Team has been productive, while working at home. Director of Exhibitions Anne von Stuelpnagel continues to coordinate the construction project and oversees design of the new exhibitions. Exhibition Artists Dan Buckley and Sean Murtha are working in their home studios. They have been painting the backdrop to the Jurassic diorama and creating giant insects, almost without missing a beat. Click here to view a brief, behind-the-scenes video.
  •   Curator of Science, Dr. Daniel Ksepka, oversees the intellectual content of the new exhibition, and developed a new website so you can understand what is planned. It’s fun, surprising, exciting. Follow the link above.

Finally, after taking a long pause from fundraising, we are beginning to ask for support for the NEW Bruce project again. There are desperate social needs in our community and in the world right now—we know that, and we want you to support those. But the NEW Bruce is something positive that we can all dream about, and it’s almost here. Please consider supporting the NEW Bruce. We are so close. Construction of the new science galleries and the new art wing is an investment in our shared future and provides needed jobs right now. There are still opportunities to make a difference, and meaningful naming recognitions available. Your help in getting to the finish line is needed and will matter.

We can’t wait to tell you about what we’ve been doing . . . that’s why we are writing today. We will continue to update you. Follow this link to learn much more about the new Cycles exhibition.

We are grateful that you are part of the Museum family. We are thinking of you during these difficult times. Please be safe and strong.

Robert Wolterstorff

The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director and CEO