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Molly Edwards-Britton of Makanda places flowers outside of the University Museum at SIU on June 30, 2017 in Carbondale. Supporters of the museum placed flowers throughout the day to mark the closure of the museum due to the state budget impasse. The museum is set to reopen on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois University Museum, which shuttered in July due to the state budget impasse, will partially reopen Tuesday, Feb. 6, according to a staff member.

SIU Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s announcement that the museum would reopen Jan. 1, 2018 was one of his biggest applause lines at the State of the University address in September.

Southern Illinois University Museum officially closes

Pam Hackbart-Dean, director of special collections, said the delay was caused by staffing issues, as it took some time to hire a curator of exhibits. That post has been filled by Wes Stoerger, an SIU graduate who joined the museum in January.

Susannah Munson, who was on staff at the museum before its closure, is curator of collections. Hackbart-Dean will oversee the museum until a director is hired.

Starting Tuesday, the museum will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

“It’s going to be kind of a soft opening,” Hackbart-Dean said. A larger official opening will be held March 8.

The museum, previously part of the College of Liberal Arts, is now under the Library Affairs umbrella.

“It’s a natural fit. We’ve always worked really well together, the library and the museum, especially special collections and the museum, so it’s a good fit, a good partnership,” Hackbart-Dean said.

Exhibits in the north gallery will include steel sculptures by Aldon Addington and artwork by Larry Bernstein. Another gallery will change out each month; for the first month it will feature ethnographic works from Afghanistan.

“We’re very excited, and we really appreciate the community support and campus support that we can reopen, and we hope that people will come back and continue to support the museum. It’s been around for over 150 years, and we’re back,” Hackbart-Dean said.


On Twitter: @janis_eschSI



Janis Esch is a reporter covering higher education.

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