Martha’s Vineyard Museum to close for five months

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The old Marine Hospital in Vineyard Haven — the future site of the Martha's Vineyard Museum. – Courtesy MV Museum

This winter will be a long one for Island museumgoers and researchers.

Last Tuesday, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown closed to the public for the winter as it prepares for a move to its new location in Vineyard Haven, according to a press release from the museum. The Gale Huntington Research Library will also be closed to the public.

The museum will have professionals from Museum and Collector Resource, a specialty consulting firm based in Concord, gathering museum items for transportation to the new location. The firm is well versed in the museum’s collection, having catalogued it only a few years ago.

In April, the 1854 Fresnel lens, the original lens from the Gay Head Lighthouse, will move to a temporary home in the library. Jim Woodward, a professional “lampist,” will be disassembling the 1,008 prisms that make up the lens; they will be carefully packed and sent to the new museum location to be reassembled.

Although closed, museum programming will continue in some to-be-determined offsite locations, and museum teachers will continue to work in public schools.

While the library will remain closed throughout the summer, the museum galleries will reopen with new exhibits on May 26 in Edgartown; it will be the museum’s final summer there before the move to Vineyard Haven.

A soft opening of the museum at its new location overlooking Lagoon Pond is scheduled for late 2018, and a grand opening is scheduled for summer 2019.

People interested in following the construction of the new M.V. Museum can go to mvmonthemove.com. Museum staff also post frequent updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

While closed for walk-ins, researchers with inquiries can contact Bow Van Riper by email at bvanriper@mvmuseum.org and by phone at 508-627-4441, ext. 115.