Award-winning Fife museum to close for redevelopment

Thursday 21 June 2018
MUSA proposed redevelopment

The award-winning Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) will close its doors next week (30 June 2018) for a major expansion.

A £1.6m redevelopment and extension will provide new exhibition space, enabling major artworks from prestigious collections to go on display in the town for the first time. Plans to create two new temporary exhibition spaces within an extension to the museum will require it to close for around 18 months.

On Saturday 30 June MUSA will have a closing party, with activities for the whole family, reflecting on the museum’s achievements over the last ten years and looking forward to the reopening. The day will run from 1pm until 5pm when there will be a “ceremonial locking” of the museum, performed with a local school pupil.

MUSA proposed entrance lobby photomontage

Helen Rawson, Co-Director of the Museum Collections Unit at the University of St Andrews, said: “The extension of the museum presents a wonderful opportunity to increase the range of material on display through a fascinating programme of changing temporary exhibitions, many developed in partnership with academic colleagues and the local community. This will allow us to showcase dynamic University research and highlight fascinating material in the University’s Museum and Special Collections as well as extraordinary loans.

“During the closure, the permanent displays will also be redeveloped and we look forward to reopening in 2019 and welcoming new and existing users to the wonderful new facilities.”

While MUSA is closed, the learning and access team will take objects out into schools and community venues and visitors are still welcome to the University’s Bell Pettigrew Museum (the zoology museum in the Bute Medical Building) on Tuesday and Friday afternoons in July and August.

MUSA, housed on The Scores in St Andrews, has been extremely successful since its opening in 2008 as the centre-piece of the University’s museum service, and has been consistently awarded the highest ranking of five stars under Visit Scotland’s Quality Assurance scheme – the only university museum in Scotland to do so.

Around 35,000 visitors are attracted to the museum every year, including 1600 school children who take part in organised events and workshops.

The University holds more than 115,000 items within its museum collections, with the vast majority in storage. MUSA’s extensive database of objects is now available to search online, via the museum website. Visitors can search for information about the University’s collections and learn about the vast range of objects held.

The collections catalogue is available online and via the general Museum Collections Unit website.


Images show the proposed extension (top) and entrance lobby (bottom).

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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