Notre Dame fire prompts art safety discussion at Bob Jones University


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — With its annual Living Gallery program, Easter weekend is always a busy celebration of art at Bob Jones University.

The school’s Master Art Collection is one of the largest collections of European art in the country. After Bob Jones’ museum closed in 2017, many pieces are in storage or on loan, but some are still on display. 

“We span with our entire collection 45 centuries of mankind’s culture,” Museum and Gallery Executive Director Erin Jones says.

To keep its artwork safe, the school has limited and monitored viewings of its paintings like the ones inside the War Memorial Chapel, which will be visible all weekend in conjunction with the Living Gallery program.

In the wake of the devastating fire that threatened the Notre Dame cathedral and its priceless artifacts, safety precautions here are being reviewed.

“The key way to monitor and take care of this always comes back to the climate and lighting,” Jones says. “If there was something that was drastically different, then it would set off an alarm”

Devices inside air ducts and beside paintings monitor temperature and humidity. 

The school’s collection even includes work from three artists whose work was also inside the Notre Dame.

“That includes a key figure in France’s history and that is Charles Le Brun,” Jones says.

Bob Jones University is in talks with the City of Greenville to open a new museum in downtown Greenville, pending upon city funding.

For information on the Living Gallery which is showing at Bob Jones through Sunday, April 21st, click here.

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