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Museum to use gallery space

By Mary Condello

The relocation of the Hayden Gallery will free the space formerly occupied in Building 14 for lectures, concerts, films, and other public events, according to Marcus A. Thompson, professor of music. The gallery was moved to the new Wiesner Building (E15) last March.

There have been several proposals for the use of the interior gallery and corridor space which have remained empty for the past few months, according to Professor Travis R. Merritt, director of the Department of Humanities.

The MIT campus contains few performance spaces, Thompson said. When the gallery space became available, members of the music department issued a joint request with other Course XXI sections for the use of the interior gallery.

"It would be nice for public events to be in this building [14] rather than solely in Kresge, " Thompson added. Poetry reading, dance, and drama productions might be held in the inner gallery as well.

But refurbishing must be completed before the main gallery can be used extensively. "The requested renovations are being looked at and the cost determined," Thompson explained.

"The gallery will be stripped of old materials and be usable next year," said Nancy Cavanagh, an administrative officer for the music department. There are plans to add "movable seating, track lighting, and a grand piano," she said.

Corridor space uncertain

The future of the corridor gallery is uncertain. The MIT Museum put in a proposal for permanent use of the space, and is still awaiting a decision. Two exhibits will definitely be shown in the next few weeks, according to Warren Seamans, director of the MIT Museum.

The first exhibit will be at the end of September, when the American Institute of Graphic Artists will hold its conference here. The work will be displayed in the corridor gallery.

In mid-October Course XXI will be holding a convocation in honor of its 30th anniversary. "The Museum will be showing an exhibit of photographs, printed material, and other memorabilia depicting the history of humanities at MIT," Merritt said.

"There are plans for a series of exhibits of general interest to the MIT community sponsored by the Museum or independent groups on campus," Seamans added.

Future exhibits, if approved, might include "Women in Medieval Art," "History of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering," "Albert Einstein and American Physics," and "MIT and Industry," Seamans said.

Renovations are necessary for the corridor gallery as well as the interior space. For example, new glass cases must be installed. Those previously used by the Hayden Gallery were accidentally discarded when the gallery was moved. The repairs will require a significant amount of money and the administration is "rightfully concerned about cost," Seamans said.