With the stroke of a red ribbon, a cheer and lots of smiles, State Botanical Garden of Georgia donors, faculty, and staff watched UGA leaders officially open the garden’s newest additions: the Museum of Porcelain and Decorative Arts, the Garden of Discovery and Inspiration, and the Main Entrance accessible.
“The new facilities and gardens are transformative,” said Jenny Cruse-Sanders, Garden Manager. “They increase accessibility, provide an enhanced experience at the garden, and will attract new audiences to the garden and to UGA. Each also helps guide us in understanding the important role nature plays in our lives. »
The museum was a longtime dream of garden board member and donor Deen Day Sanders, who donated her 50-year-old collection of porcelain and art from around the world to the garden.
“The university remains deeply grateful for the vision, determination, and assistance she provided to Ms. Sanders in bringing others to contribute to this important project,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. . “Her efforts extended beyond the museum itself as she thought carefully about the area around her and how we would make the museum and garden accessible to so many more.”
The exhibits in the museum show how art is inspired by flowers, butterflies, birds and all aspects of nature. The two-story building includes beautiful gallery spaces as well as a large classroom that opens onto the show gardens to enrich the learning experience.
Located on a hill behind the museum, the accessible entrance includes an elevator from the parking lots.
The Garden of Discovery and Inspiration surrounds and extends beyond the Museum of Porcelain and Decorative Arts, inviting visitors of all ages to explore and discover.
Narrow plant beds at each visitor’s eye level invite close observation, and a pond is home to a variety of wildlife, including frogs and dragonflies. The Discovery and Inspiration Garden showcases native plants for pollinators and educates visitors on the interrelationships between birds, insects and plants. The garden also includes a lawn where classes and outdoor events can be held.
“These projects represent a significant milestone in the history of the garden,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president of UGA Public Service and Outreach, which oversees the garden. “They will undoubtedly open up many educational opportunities for teachers, students, and citizens across Georgia.”
Donors to the Accessible Entry Project included Deen Day Sanders and the Day Family, the Callaway Foundation, James B. Miller Jr., Mike and Betty DeVore, Tom B. Wight, the Garden Club of Georgia Inc., and donors from across Georgia. Chuck and Suzanne Murphy have lent their support to the Garden of Discovery and Inspiration.
“Today is a day of jubilation,” said Deen Day Sanders. “I can say that I am grateful to everyone who made this possible. It wasn’t about the vision, it was about completing the museum for the garden and opening it up to the public, for people to come and see and enjoy.
The porcelain and decorative arts museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information on the Georgia State Botanical Garden, visit botgarden.uga.edu.
Learn more about the Museum of Porcelain and Decorative Arts.