Center for Object Research and Engagement

Center for Object Research and Engagement

Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University

November 15, 2023
Center for Object Research and Engagement
Presented by the MSU Broad Art Museum
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University
547 East Circle Drive
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
United States
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The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (MSU Broad Art Museum) is thrilled to announce the opening of The Center for Object Research and Engagement (The CORE)—a new, active, educational space featuring art from the museum’s permanent collection. Through innovative approaches to object-based research, The CORE encourages close looking and learning, while advancing the museum’s values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Major renovations to the MSU Broad Art Museum’s lower level began in June, with The CORE officially opening on November 10, 2023.

“The significance of this moment for the museum cannot be overstated. With the opening of The CORE, the museum’s collection is centered as foundational to the museum’s future activities, as well to its role on campus and in our community,” said MSU Broad Art Museum Interim Director Steven L. Bridges. “The incredible breadth of knowledge and access to a wide range of cultural histories as offered by the collection is now be a permanent feature of the museum, enriching the lives of the diverse communities we serve—now and for posterity.”

The collection has always been at “the core” of the MSU Broad Art Museum: The museum’s collection officially began with a gift of three devotional paintings by artists of the Spanish colonial period in the American southwest, which were presented to Michigan State University in 1945. With the opening of the Kresge Art Center in 1959, the Kresge Art Gallery—later Museum—was also born, which included the first gallery dedicated to showing the collection. In 1999, an independent committee formed locally to raise the profile of their cause to create a Better Art Museum (BAM) in an effort to increase exhibition space and raise the profile of the museum on campus. The result of this effort led to the inauguration of the MSU Broad Art Museum on November 10, 2012. Now, with the launch of The CORE, the collection has an ever-more heightened presence on campus and in the region, further affirming it as an integral part of the museum’s educational mission. Today, the collection has over 10,000 objects. With the unveiling of The CORE, the MSU Broad Art Museum honors the many people who contributed to the collection over the years, as well as those who worked to create the museum and this new space.

“Research shows that visitors often spend just seconds looking at a work of art,” commented MSU Broad Art Museum Director of Education Michelle Word. “The CORE asks us: What happens when we look longer? When we slow down and focus deeply on one thing, we are building important (and transferable) skills that can help us see, think, and wonder about our world. These are the skills that make up critical thinking and we all need that no matter where our paths take us. Through The CORE, we hope that visitors are expanding their experiences of art and what it means to spend time with art.”

The new space features a wide range of artworks that span 5,000 years of history, offering a portal to different time periods and cultures. Prompts and tools throughout The CORE invite visitors to experiment with object-based learning and research, a specialty of the MSU Broad Art Museum’s work. Object-based learning is grounded in the ways that objects tell stories, share information, and provide insight to the people and places from which they are created.

Advancing different ways of knowing and the museum’s values around accessibility, The CORE also features three sensory stations created specifically for works on view for this initial presentation. From 3D-printed replicas of art that are available to touch, to scent jars inviting visitors to experience art through smell and its relationship to memory, and more, The CORE invites visitors to engage with works from the MSU Broad Art Museum collection like never before.

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Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University
November 15, 2023

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