Increased Space and Accessibility Celebrated at Cahoon Museum

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COTUIT – American folk and traditional art at the Cahoon Museum of American Art will now be exhibited in a larger space.

A $3 million project, which began four years ago, was recently completed and celebrated at a grand reopening Friday.

The work revamped the museum’s original structure, giving it an elevator and other improvements. It also added a 3,600 square foot addition.

Museum founder Rosemary Rapp said the lack of elevator was a major blockade for access to half of the original museum.

“It’s a museum now,” she said. “It used to be a small house exhibit; now, we have so much more access.”

A $2.5 million capital campaign allowed the museum to build the addition, which museum director Sarah Johnson said will double the available exhibition space.

Johnson said they will now be able to rotate exhibits every six to eight weeks.

“The warm character of both buildings, and the scale of the buildings are appropriate to one another,” Johnson said.

The inaugural exhibition showcases seldom seen paintings and furniture by the husband and wife team for which the museum is named.

“Coming Home Again: Works by Ralph and Martha Cahoon” will include works heavily inspired by Martha Cahoon’s Swedish decorative influences.

A grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities supported the construction of the addition’s vaulted ceiling gallery, multi-purpose classroom, workshop space, fine art storage, lobby, outdoor courtyard and other upgrades.

The museum is open six days a week from Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $10, $8 for seniors and students and museum members, as well as children under 12.

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