Left: Hopi Coil Plaque
USA, c. late 20th century
Above: Qing Imperial Guard
Paint on rice paper
China, c. 19th century
after half a century in Swallow Hall, MU’s Museum of Anthropology is spending its last winter in that venerable building. Leaving will not be easy. Some 6,000 of the museum’s 35,000-object collection are housed in the current space. Items in storage will be carefully removed, packed, and transported across town beginning in January. Those on display will follow in April.
The museum’s new Mizzou North home, at the former site of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center on Business Loop 70, will be brighter and more inviting to visitors, says associate curator Candace Sall. Even more important, she adds, will be the expansion of now limited exhibition space. The new space will help staff more effectively “capture the diversity of humans past and present, and show how people everywhere are both different and the same,” she says.
Square footage has long been at a premium in the museum, a circumstance not surprising given that the University began accepting donations of ethnographic objects back in 1885. Among those pieces benefitting from more room will be important objects from our planet’s prehistoric, historic and more recent past; treasures that will help contemporary visitors better appreciate the power and sophistication of the cultures that produced them. Others include items from the renowned Grayson Archery Collection, an assemblage of archery-related material that is arguably the world’s largest and most comprehensive.
In advance of the move, the Museum of Anthropology continues to welcome visitors. It is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.