Inaugurated July 15, 2007
History of The Carter Center
The Benjamin Allen & Barbara Rowland Gallery
Artist's drawing of the new Carter Collections Center (courtesy JSA Inc.)
The NEW Carter Collections Center at Strawbery Banke represents the fulfillment of a long-held Museum goal. Designed by JSA, Inc. of Portsmouth, NH, and built by Pine Brook Corp. of Kittery, ME, the 5,500 sq.-ft. structure on Washington Street is dedicated to the storage and preservation of our archaeology and decorative arts collections. Belying its 18th-century-style façade, the Carter Collections Center will boast state-of-the-art climate, fire, and particulate control systems to ensure the long-term care of the collection. Custom designed exhibit cases and a changing exhibit gallery will offer access to the Museum’s 30,000 objects—which date from the 1700s to the 1950s—and allow staff to better educate community members about object preservation and local heritage. The Center’s gallery space, generously endowed by the Rowland family is a venue for displaying Strawbery Banke artifacts and visiting exhibitions.
History of The Carter Center
In 1978, Winthrop Carter bestowed upon Strawbery Banke the gift of a large but modest building on Court Street that could be used to house the Museum’s burgeoning collections of furniture and objects. While this generous gift solved the Museum’s immediate storage issues, the space was never intended to provide the specific conditions required for long-term object storage and care. Staff dreamed of a more suitable facility that would not only protect the objects but also make museum treasures accessible to the public.
Following a feasibility study funded by the Henry Luce Foundation, Strawbery Banke staff and trustees found that the sale of the Court Street property would perfectly offset the cost of building a new, state-of-the-art collections center on museum grounds. The design team at JSA Inc. moved quickly to plan a structure that would accommodate its complex needs; Rodney Rowland, Director of Special Projects, worked closely with city officials to expedite the permitting; and Pine Brook Corp. stood ready to break ground as soon as the green light was given. The contractors broke ground in December 2006.
For the Carter family, the new Center is a proud new expression of Winthrop Carter’s original gift. Says Mrs. Carter, “I’m just thrilled that they’ve proceeded to this stage. My husband would have been delighted.”
At the Groundbreaking Ceremony, L to R: Nick Isaak (JSA Inc.), Bruce Dicker (JSA Inc.), Mrs. Winthrop Carter, Lawrence Yerdon (Pres., Strawbery Banke Museum), Jeffrey Gilbert (Pres. Board of Trustees, Strawbery Banke Museum), Rodney Rowland (Dir. Spec. Projects, Strawbery Banke Museum), Gordon McClure (Board of Trustees)
The Barbara B. & Benjamin Allen Rowland Gallery
The 500 sq.-ft. Rowland Gallery is the Museum’s first dedicated space for changing exhibitions. The Gallery was endowed in memory of Benjamin and Barbara Rowland, founding members and former Trustees of Strawbery Banke. The gallery space will give the public viewing access to objects in the collection that are not able to be displayed in the Museum’s furnished houses or other exhibit spaces. In particular, the space will showcase some of the smaller decorative objects, textiles, clothing, and furniture that are important but unseen parts of the collection.