Since its construction in 1905, the Gibbes has made a stately statement on Meeting Street.
The Gibbes Museum of Art today, by editing some of its interim renovations, museum designer Daly and Gibbes executive director Angela Mack intend to return it to its original grandeur.
The Gibbes post renovation: The first-floor spaces—including a new café and gift shop as well as windows reopened to the public—offer a more welcoming and interactive presence.
Last August, Jeff Daly and his team inspected the 108-year-old dome.
Gibbes operations manager Greg Jenkins and lighting consultant Anita Jorgensen examine the dome structure from above the Rotunda Gallery.
Detail of the glass; of it Daly wrote in his blog: “To create the dome, each piece of stained glass was hand cut in the studio. Then, they were assembled into leaded glass panels resting on a large table and soldered into place. At that point, the panels were shipped to the museum.”
Cross-section of the redesigned space
First floor design: Beyond the store, café, classrooms, and studios on the first floor, the newly renovated reception gallery and lecture hall will integrate the back courtyard and sculpture garden with the building.
The first-floor plans for the gift shop; Meeting Street is to the right
The first-floor plans for the cafe; Meeting Street is to the right. Down the hall will be artist studios in accordance with the museum’s early life as the Carolina Art Association.
From re-pointing the exterior brick to reopening now-covered windows, the goal is not only to dress up the Gibbes, but to reclaim its place as a cultural meeting spot, front and center on Meeting Street.
The Main Gallery on the second floor in 1905
The second-floor Main Gallery will house the museum’s permanent collection—along with newly welcome daylight once the original skylights are restored—and have no “basketball court flooring,” as Daly calls the current parquet overlay.
The same space taped off in 2012 by the designer and curatorial staff to envision new displays
A digital rendering of the future second floor, which will “tell a visual narrative from the early history of Southern art through to current developments... in contemporary art” (above, right), according to Daly’s blog on the restoration.
The Rotunda gallery circa 1976 had a carpet with a roundel pattern covering the tessera tile floor.
Detail of the original tessera tile floor. The floor, once restored, will be a work of art in its own right.
Today, the Gibbes is able to showcase a small portion of its portrait miniatures collection—the third largest in the U.S.—at a time
Daly is designing special “Cabinette Galleries” (right), which will safely display most of the collection of miniature paintings in rotating drawers.
“This [collection] is as important as anything in the museum,” says Daly. “There’s as much art here as in the Main Gallery.”