C.N. Gorman Museum Expected Open in Fall

Collection of Native American Art

A white museum sign that reads "Gorman Museum of Native American Art" is pictured in front of the renovated museum.
Street sign on Old Davis Road shows the location of the future C.N. Gorman Museum.

The construction and renovation project for the C.N. Gorman Museum of Native American Art is in the final stages. With demolition starting in April 2021, the construction project will be just under two years. For many museum supporters, it began 10 years ago with the museum’s 40th-anniversary celebrations and the campus commitment to find the Gorman Museum a new home.

Fall plans

Planning is underway to officially open and welcome visitors back this fall, coinciding with the museum 50th anniversary. Dates, programming and events will be announced in the coming months.

After extensive demolition of the former university club, construction shifted to rebuilding everything anew with up-to-date equipment, environmental controls, safety, accessibility and modern technologies. Following facility studies and museum guidelines, it was important to design multiple spaces that address museum exhibitions, programming, and collections stewardship, museum officials said in a recent update article.

One side of the museum. Vertical windows make up the walls and a gray trim along the top has a sign that reads "Gorman Museum of Native American Art." Construction equipment lies nearby.
Signage on the Arboretum entry side.

In the later stages of the project, the building began to transform into a museum with the installation of specialized equipment and finishes. The galleries were finished with lighting, a/v, accessibility systems and installation of custom display cases. 

Visible collections storage includes a custom lateral art rack system for compact storage of large framed works, as well as additional wall-mount racks and a renewal of existing vertical storage. With a full glass wall from the galleries, visitors have visibility into this area and ongoing collections work.

The Collections workrooms include an isolated textile room, with custom equipment for archival rolled storage of tapestries and rugs, alongside custom furniture to support collections work and care. 

In the front entry areas, the reception, shop, library, and offices all began to take shape as furniture and cabinetry arrived.

The unfinished lobby currently features gray tiled flooring, vertical windows that take up half of the wall, and white walls and ceilings with wooden rafters.
The lobby and shop in progress.

Much of the construction has moved to the exterior of the building with signage on Old Davis Road and Arboretum Drive bike path. The entry pavilion, a signifier for the museum entrance, is well underway with the structure complete and recently painted. The screen panels that cover the structure have been designed by Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, Museum Director and acclaimed artist. 

See the museum website to view more construction photos and a short video that includes a walk-through just days before demolition began. 

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