Bob Jones University’s on-campus Museum & Gallery will close on Feb. 18 for a two-year renovation, and its Heritage Green location will close Feb. 4 permanently.
Under the direction of M&G Director Erin Jones, the museum will loan out as many of its more than 400 paintings as it can to museums, corporation headquarters and private homes of art enthusiasts during the closure. Paintings that aren’t loaned out will be placed in secured climate-controlled storage. That is expected to take the rest of the year.
The building that houses the M&G is 70 years old and water has penetrated its walls, damaging some of the interior walls, said BJU Spokesman Randy Page. None of the paintings have been damaged, he said.
Renovation work includes the sealing of the outside walls, replacement of a number of interior walls, and installation of a new heating, air, and ventilation system. Page said additional studies must be done and a cost estimate is not yet available.
The museum could reopen as early as late 2018 or early 2019.
In addition, M&G’s Heritage Green satellite site will be closed permanently on Feb. 4. The Heritage Green site opened in 2008. Page said the school’s lease was up. A lack of attendance contributed to the closing, Page said.
“It was a mutual decision,” he said. “The County was disappointed with the foot traffic of that location and we were, too.”
Greenville County is seeking another tenant for the building. Heritage Green includes the Hughes Main Library, the Upcountry History Museum, the Greenville Little Theatre, the Greenville County Museum of Art, and The Children’s Museum of the Upstate.
The M&G of Bob Jones University is widely recognized as one of the finest collections of religious art in the Southeast and perhaps the nation. The museum operated as a separate entity and had its own board, but Page said it is being brought back under the auspices of BJU.