By: Matt Davis
Director of Historic Museums at Georgia College
The holidays are always a time for spending time with family, friends, and to reflect on all that has happened in the past year. As I think back over the past year at Andalusia, the word transition kept coming to mind. This past year has found the museum at a period of transition. Looking back can give us perspective on how we move forward and I hope you will indulge some remanences and discussion of our next steps forward in this final Assorted Regards of 2021.
The museum continued to move forward in many positive ways during the past year. We continued to welcome visitors to the museum from around the world, we resumed our popular Front Porch Lecture Series, acquired new artifacts, hosted exhibitions, partnered with colleagues both within and outside of the university to support their instruction of not only O’Connor, but English, Education, History, and even Biology. We continued our archeological investigations of the farm to learn more about the site’s history and engaged our visitors virtually through a wide variety of social media engagements, virtual programming, and a fully virtual celebration of Flannery O’Connor’s birthday.
In July, we bid farewell to Meghan Anderson, the site’s first curator. Meghan did an incredible job in accessing and accessioning our collections and curating several wonderful exhibitions during her tenure. Following a nationwide search, we were pleased to welcome Cassie Munnell as Andalusia’s new Curator. Cassie began working at the site in late November and is currently researching materials for her first exhibition that will open in February 2022.
Finally, we were excited to finally break ground on the new interpretive center for Andalusia. This $3.4 million-dollar facility will house exhibition and meeting spaces, research areas, collection storage, restrooms, staff offices, and our museum store. This new building will allow us the opportunity to remove all non-historic functions from the main house at Andalusia so that we can continue our efforts to fully restore the site. We look forward to premiering the new center in late summer/early fall of 2022 and hope that will come visit us to see all that is happening.
2021 has certainly been a year of transitions and 2022 promises to have even more in store for Andalusia. We appreciate the support of all our friends, supporters, and stakeholders who have supported us, visited us, or came to one of our programs. Our mission is to educate the public about Andalusia, the life of Flannery O’Connor and her family, and to preserve this site and its historic resources. We appreciate the opportunity to be the stewards of this site and endeavor to fulfill our mission. We hope to see you in the new year at Andalusia and wish each of you a joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year!