Despite the closure of the Museum & Gallery’s location on Bob Jones University’s campus in 2017, M&G remains active as it plans for its 70th anniversary and seeks funding for its relocation to a new building in downtown Greenville.
Following a 2018 study examining the feasibility of fundraising for renovations at the main campus location, M&G was approached by a local developer about the possibility of a new location in Greenville’s commercial district between Academy Street and
The upcoming project would double M&G’s available space and provide a more accessible location for community members, as well as rooms for lectures to maintain an educational focus.
“I think it’s important that [people] understand that it was for the students, primarily, that [M&G] existed,” Dr. Bob Jones III, the M&G board chairman, said. “That is shifting somewhat since the accessibility for students will be less, but it would certainly be M&G, Inc.’s desire that the museum would be widely used for its continued educational purpose.”
The new building is a proposed conference center that will house M&G as well as a satellite location for the Greenville County Museum of Art.
In celebration of its 70th anniversary this year, M&G compiled a catalog showcasing prints of 55 of the pieces in its European Old Master Painting Collection. The catalog also includes an essay focusing solely on the museum’s founder, Dr. Bob Jones Jr.
“Nothing [from an art perspective] has ever been written about him exclusively before,” said Erin Jones, the executive director of M&G. “He’s been included in other essays about collectors, because there were only a handful of them who were collecting this type of art in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.” The catalog will be available for order at the M&G Makers Market during BJU’s Homecoming.
M&G is also planning six ArtBreak events throughout the academic year. Each ArtBreak consists of a lunch with a lecture from a featured guest and will be held on the first Thursday of each month in Room 104 of the Mack Building.
On Oct. 7, the first one of the year will feature Bob Jones III speaking about his father’s journey toward becoming a prolific art collector. Those interested in attending ArtBreak can register at museumandgallery.org/artbreak-in-person/.
Although M&G is currently closed awaiting its relocation, parts of the collection are still available for viewing. The Benjamin West Collection, which features seven paintings from the artist’s Progress of Revealed Religion series, is on display in the War Memorial Chapel at Bob Jones University.
Several works from the European Old Master Painting Collection can be viewed in the Gustafson Fine Arts Building, and electronic banners featuring digitized versions of several pieces can be seen on the monitors around campus.
Additionally, M&G is loaning out a number of works from its collections to various museums, including sending The Presentation of Christ in the Temple by Antoine de Lonhy to Palazzo Madama in Italy.
Notably, 64 works are being loaned to the Orlando Museum of Art in Florida for an exhibit showcasing the Old Master Painting Collection. Several more are currently on display in the Georgia Museum of Art in an exhibit on 17th century Spanish artwork, and the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., is borrowing some artifacts from M&G’s antiquities collection.
Even though public viewing hours are unavailable and portions of the collection are currently in storage, private tours of the campus location can still be scheduled by appointment through the M&G website.