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The Robert Hull Fleming Museum,1930-32

 
McKim, Mead and White, Fleming Museum,
1930-32
 
A gift in part from Katherine Wolcott in memory of her uncle, Robert Hull Fleming (UVM, Class of1862), and of UVM Trustee James B. Wilbur whose collection of Vermontiana was housed in the Museum until 1960, the beaux-arts classical style Museum was designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White in 1930 to accomodate the extensive collections of art, artifacts, geological, and natural history specimans--both gifts and acquisitions-- which had begun early in the nineteenth-century. With first and second floor galleries extending from the impressive two-storied Marble Court, the Museum today principally houses the fine arts and ethnographic collections of the University. (See the Fleming Museum site's history of the Museum.)

 
The Park Gallery of Art, 1873  

The first museum on campus to accommodate such collections was a "cabinet of curiousities", located in Old Mill . One of the earliest gifts (1827) was the Colchester Jar, an exceptionally fine local specimen of native American pottery. As the collections grew in number and variety they were transferred and displayed in the first Library (now Torrey Hall) built in 1862. A third story addition to the Library-- The Park Gallery of Art named after Trustee Trenor Park was added to the Library in 1873--to house the growing fine arts collections and to provide space for exhibitions.

The Library was converted entirely to Museum space by the mid-1880's with the construction of Billings Library. It was moved to its present location between Ira Allen Chapel and Perkins Geology in order to make way for the construction of Williams Science Hall in 1891. A hip-roofed west wing was added to the Old Library in the early 1890's to house Henry Le Grand Cannon's gift of "East India Exotica and Bric-a Brac". Cannon's collection along with the remaining collections and exhibits from the Old Museum and Park Gallery were moved into the Robert Hull Fleming Museum by the early 1930's. In the early 1980s the firm of Crissman and Solomon Associates, Inc., was engaged to renovate the museum. Climate-controlled systems were installed, and the new entrance to the Museum was added to the south side of the building.