March 2, 2024
Annapolis, US 53 F

Check Out the Mitchell Art Museum at St. John’s College on Friday!

The Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Art Museum at St. John’s College will reopen to the public on February 17. The museum closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the past three years has offered online-programming while the surrounding space underwent renovations. The newly renamed Mitchell Art Museum, previously known as the Mitchell Gallery, is the only art museum in Anne Arundel County accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and one of only five to be accredited in the state of Maryland. 

“We’re excited to welcome people back to the Mitchell,” says St. John’s College President Nora Demleitner. “We have a dynamic array of extraordinary exhibitions coming up and are excited to share them.”

Admission to the museum is free and open to the public. Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on Fridays until 8 p.m. The museum will open to the public on Friday, February 17, at 4 p.m., preceded by a ceremony including Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, President Demleitner, Mitchell Art Museum Director Peter Nesbett, St. John’s College students, and other members of the college community. 

The first exhibition, titled “THE OPEN MUSEUM,” runs February 17 through March 26, and asks “what is it to be a museum?” Visitors will be invited into an otherwise empty gallery and asked to make their mark directly on the clean, white walls. Over the course of five weeks, a cacophony of doodles, diagrams, drawings, and texts will fill the space, resulting in an extended portrait of the Mitchell Art Museum’s community.  

“One of the most exciting aspects of this exhibition to me is that it will be impossible to anticipate what it will look like day to day,” says Nesbett. “It depends upon who shows up. In fact, who shows up is really the whole point.” 

Listen To Our Podcast with Director, Peter Nesbett

During the run of the exhibition, St. John’s College student clubs and Annapolis community groups will host concerts and events in the gallery. Additionally, Philadelphia curator Robert Blackson will lead a conversation on how museums create their audiences, Institute for Contemporary Art Richmond curator Sarah Rifky will talk about museums and intimacy, and St. John’s College tutor Matthew Linck will host a discussion on Umberto Eco’s 1962 text, “The Open Work,” which inspired the concept of museums as more democratic, interdisciplinary, and participatory institutions. 

From April 8 through June 5, the museum will present two exhibitions: “Love By Looking: Selections from the Collection of Alitash Kebede Collection of African American Art” and “The Prints of Rockwell Kent: Selections from the Ralf C. Nemec Collection.” 

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