Claremont Museum of Art discontinues operations at Packing House

CLAREMONT, Calif. – On Dec. 21, the Claremont Museum of Art Board of Directors voted to discontinue operation of the museum in The Packing House and place the permanent collection in a secure storage facility. The board will continue working to rejuvenate the Claremont Museum of Art in the next few years as the economy improves.

The Claremont Museum of Art nearly closed its doors in October, but thanks to funding from the City of Claremont, the institution remained open through 2009. For the past six weeks, a working group of board members and volunteers has been meeting regularly to create a business plan for 2010. The group determined that it would cost $213,000 to operate the museum for one year on a modest budget with one employee and a large group of dedicated volunteers.

The museum has received over $5,000 in donations from the initial letter sent to supporters. A fund-raising project is underway to sell 15 ceramic Torso sculptures cast from Harrison McIntosh’s original 1940s mold for $5,000 each. So far, there have been four orders for the sculptures, and the first castings will be completed soon after the first of the year.

An art book signing raised $3,500; and a phone campaign resulted in pledges totaling $26,255. This would be enough to continue operations for only about six weeks, so the decision was made to discontinue operations at The Packing House.

The working group has already begun looking at ways to remain a functioning entity and to begin to restructure and rebuild. Founding President Marguerite McIntosh said artworks will still be able to view, but on the Internet. “With a group of dedicated leaders, we shall continue as a museum without walls,” she said. “We shall offer the public the best talent that Claremont has and continues to produce as a reputed center of art.”

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