Bruce Museum Expansion Surpasses Expectations

"Penguins! Past and Present" at the Bruce Museum (Credit: Ben Crowther)


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GREENWICH — The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, has recently undergone a $67 million renovation and expansion project, doubling its footprint to an impressive 74,500 square feet of galleries, classrooms, and more. Director Robert Wolterstorff has stated that this new expansion will create a “CASE” for the Bruce as a center for Community, Art, Science, and Education.

As visitors enter the gleaming new construction, they immediately notice a connection between museum and landscape, with a striated façade of precast concrete and glass inspired by Connecticut’s quarries. The building also features a new entrance, lobby, event spaces, and auditorium. On the ground floor sit a new café with breakfast offerings from Aux Délices along with coffee, soups, and quiches. The museum store offers a range of items from artsy jewelry to the very popular stuffed penguins.

Ascending the main stairs, visitors are greeted by a large Gabriel Dawe installation, Plexus 43, created from over 8 miles of colored thread. This work perfectly combines art and science, reminiscent of a rainbow kaleidoscope, both ephemeral and visually stunning. 

The Bruce’s expansion includes 13,000 square feet of new galleries in the William L. Richter Art Wing, featuring much of the museum’s permanent collection and a stellar Lois Dodd exhibition. Dodd is a 96 year old artist known for painting the nature around her and has only recently gained recognition. 

“Then is Now: Contemporary Black Art in America” at the Bruce Museum (credit: Ben Crowther)

In 2021 the Bruce decided to concentrate more on contemporary art, hiring full-time curator Margarita Karasoulas. This heralded an exciting expansion of the museum’s permanent collection and the creation of a new venue for modern and contemporary art in Connecticut.  

In addition to the art, the Bruce has fully expanded its science offerings with a new gallery for rotating exhibitions. The “Penguins! Past and Present” exhibition features stuffed penguins, including a replica of a very large prehistoric penguin. There’s also the Robert R. Wiener Mineral Gallery showcasing a stunning collection of minerals. Every turn of the museum reveals another fantastic surprise, making it a world-class venue for contemporary art and science.

Finally, the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Education Wing has doubled the museum’s potential for school group attendance, with ample space to accommodate 50,000 students annually. As Director Wolterstorff stated, the vision for this new space is to excite, educate, and invigorate the spirit and imagination of visitors, and to serve the community through the joy of experiencing art and science up close.

Overall, the Bruce Museum has truly surpassed expectations, leaving attendees in awe and providing an impressive addition to the Greenwich community.

The Bruce Museum (credit: Michael Biondo)