2023 Closure

Davis Museum Closure
The Davis Museum will be closed for renovations from December 18, 2022 to February 8, 2024. The Davis Museum is closed for renovation of the HVAC system, a project that reflects the strong commitment of Wellesley College to safely steward the Museum's collections for the future. The Davis will reopen in February 2024 with the exhibition Lorraine O'Grady: Both/And. Stay Connected! Visit our website for online content, FAQ's, and updates during the closure. We will see you in February 2024!

Collections Access
The collections will be physically inaccessible during this period, however please refer to online resources and request additional research materials through December 18, 2022.

Loan Moratorium
Effective September 1, 2022 the Davis Museum has implemented a loan moratorium that will extend through the period of closure. We will honor loan commitments already in place, and will not accept new requests for exhibitions beginning before March 2024. Send any questions to Helen Connor, Assistant Registrar for Exhibitions & Digital Resources, hconnor@wellesley.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions
Staff at the Davis are very excited for these upcoming renovations. They demonstrate Wellesley College’s commitment to the arts, education, and our stakeholders. Staff have anticipated some questions about the building and access during the 2023 closure. Read below for more information about topics such as renovations, changing permanent galleries, research and loans, classroom support and tours, as well as incoming donations in anticipation of the Davis’ re-opening in February 2024.


What is HVAC, why is it getting replaced, and why does that matter? 
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems maintain a stable temperature (68-70 degrees F) and humidity (48-52%). This environment protects museum collections such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc for longer periods of time. Sharp swings in temperature and humidity can damage items because they can swell and shrink when the environment changes. This can result in flaking in paintings, cracks in wood and stone. Museums keep stable environments because they are preserving the artwork for future generations.

Can I schedule a special tour during the HVAC replacement?
Unfortunately, no. During the closure, the Davis Museum will not be able to host in-person tours. Our digital tours of exhibits can be found here.


Why do permanent galleries change:

Will my favorite piece still be on display when the Davis re-opens?
It is possible that your favorite artwork may be in storage when the Davis Museum re-opens. Artwork is rotated to protect it from extended exposure to lighting or to bring a fresh perspective to the Davis’ storytelling of its holdings. Sometimes, these pieces are re-exhibited in temporary exhibitions or at the request of professors.

How can I help re-think the galleries and their stories?
We are looking for feedback about what the galleries should display. We will be comparing comments to our current holdings and how suggestions can be woven into our reconception. Survey coming soon.

How will the museum’s DEAI goals be reflected in the re-installation?
The Davis Museum is committed to reflecting Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) goals within its gallery re-installation. You can expect to see this reflected in the emerging storytelling that the Davis Museum will be telling about art and its community impact.


Research and Loans:

Will I still be able to access collections for my research project?
Unfortunately, no. The Davis Museum collections will not be available for in-person research projects. Our web-based data collection is available here. Currently, we are accepting research requests for in-person visits in spring 2024.

Will I be able to access images and image collections during the closure?
Yes, images and image files will be accessible during the closure. Some images are available on our web-based data collection, located here. Email Helen Connor, Assistant Registrar for Exhibitions & Digital Resources, hconnor@wellesley.edu, for more information.

Will I be able to schedule a loan for a special exhibit?
The Davis Museum is scheduling loans for special exhibitions that start after March 2024. Email Helen Connor, Assistant Registrar for Exhibitions & Digital Resources, hconnor@wellesley.edu, for more information.

How can I get in touch about my loan to the museum?
The Davis Museum is actively contacting lenders to the museum so that staff may discuss how this closure affects current holdings. Contact Helen Connor, Assistant Registrar for Exhibitions & Digital Resources, hconnor@wellesley.edu, for more information.


Classroom support & class tours:

Will I still be able to take my class to the museum?
Unfortunately, no. The Davis Museum will not support in-person tours until spring 2024. There are digital tours available on our website. We also have activities for younger learners here.

I would like to schedule a guest lecturer for my class, how can I do that?
It is likely that there is availability for a guest lecturer in classrooms during the closure. These will be scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. Contact Yuhua Ding, Kemper Assistant Curator of Collections and Academic Affairs, yd102@wellesley.edu, for more information.



I would like to donate my art to the museum, how can I do that during the HVAC replacement?
We are still accepting art donations during the closure. This may be a little clunky as we navigate building access during the renovation. Please contact Bo Mompho, Collections Manager and Head Registrar, bmompho@wellesley.edu, if you would like to know more about the process.

I would like to donate funds and endowments to the Davis in support of building operations. Who should I contact?
We are still accepting donations during the closure. Visit this page to donate now to the Davis. If you are interested in setting up a pledge, bequest, or corporate sponsorship, please visit our Membership and Support page for more information about planned giving.