• Northwestern University
  • Block Museum

Official tweets from Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art last week announced a sudden closure for “maintenance,” due to an “unexpected facility issue.”

Yesterday came word that the museum will be closed until January.

The problem, which erupted on the morning of August 6, sounds like a museum director’s nightmare: a broken, leaking pipe in the ceiling. Fortunately, says Block director Lisa Graziose Corrin, no art was damaged.

“The pipe [connected to the sprinkler system] was in an area adjacent to the main gallery on the second floor, outside the print study room,” Corrin says. “It messed up the floor, but the collection is fine. And it allowed us to identify a wider problem and deal with it.”

The entire collection was rapidly moved to off-site storage.

“The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation,” an exhibition from Vassar College scheduled to open in September, has been cancelled. A second exhibition scheduled for the fall, “Steichen/Warhol: Picturing Frame,” will instead run from January to April.

Meanwhile, a previously planned lobby renovation for the Dirk Lohan-designed building is proceeding.

Corrin says Block Cinema films and lectures will go on as scheduled.