BYU Museum Extends Hours for Popular Sacred Gifts Exhibit

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 16 January 2014

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler, by Heinrich Hofmann, on display at the BYU Museum of Art as part of the exhibit Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann, and Frans Schwartz. Due to popularity, the museum extended evening and weekend hours on select days and released a free download of the iPad app in the iTunes store.

Article Highlights

  • More than 100,000 tickets have been distributed for the Sacred Gifts art exhibit at BYU.
  • The museum has extended evening and weekend hours on select days and released a free download of the iPad app in the iTunes store.
  • Patrons are encouraged to reserve tickets as soon as possible for the popular exhibit, which closes in May.

“Those who wait until the spring will find tickets very difficult to come by and can’t be guaranteed admittance.” —Ed Lind, museum associate director

PROVO, UTAH

The Brigham Young University Museum of Art has already distributed more than 100,000 tickets to patrons wishing to see the new exhibition Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann, and Frans Schwartz.

Evenings, weekends, and holidays have been consistently booked since the exhibit opened on November 15. Over the holiday season, demand for the exhibition’s popular iPad app also surpassed the museum’s supply of rental devices.

In the wake of this success, the museum has extended evening and weekend hours on select days and released a free download of the iPad app in the iTunes store.

The museum has expanded evening hours to include Monday and Saturday nights in hopes of better accommodating high demand on evenings and weekends. The museum is now open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Museum associate director Ed Lind said that despite the new hours and the fact that the exhibition will be open through May of 2014, patrons hoping to attend Sacred Gifts should reserve their free tickets required for admittance as soon as possible.

“We hope to accommodate as many as possible who wish to see the exhibition, so we ask our patrons that they plan ahead and not wait to come,” Brother Lind said. “Based on our track record for exhibitions of this scale, we know that attendance will only grow as the months go on. Those who wait until the spring will find tickets very difficult to come by and can’t be guaranteed admittance.”

Tickets can be reserved in advance online at sacredgifts.byu.edu/tickets and are released one month in advance. Standby tickets are also available as supply and space permit and are distributed to patrons on-site for same-day redemption at designated times. Free downloads of the museum’s interactive audiovisual iPad app designed exclusively for Sacred Gifts are now available in the iTunes store, thanks to generous funding from William H. and Patricia W. Child. The app features uplifting educational resources including expert interviews, historical context, music, personal anecdotes, and spiritual insights.

Funding for the app’s development was provided by the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation, the Allen Foundation, and the BYU Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts. Previously, the app had been available for patrons only on rental devices within the museum for a small fee.

Demand for these rentals regularly met the museum’s supply capacity over the holiday season, barely accommodating the many on-site patrons wishing to use the app.

“The release of this app as a free download gives us the opportunity to enrich the understanding of more people who experience the exhibition within the museum as well as those who are not able to attend in person,” said Ann Lambson, head of education at the museum.

The museum and app collaborators from BYU’s Center for Teaching and Learning and the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts did not predict the extent of the app’s popularity, yet they had originally designed the app with hopes of offering it in the iTunes store. The museum requests that patrons download the free app on personal devices in advance of their visit to the museum. Headphones are also required when using the app within the museum, and patrons can either bring personal headphones or rent some from the iPad rental station at the museum for a $1 fee. These rentals are available thanks to donations from Jeremy Andrus and Skullcandy, Inc.

Patrons should also note that the museum has a limited supply of headphones and iPads and that during busy hours rental availability is not guaranteed.

As of January 7, museum records indicate that 104,636 tickets for Sacred Gifts have already been reserved online by those wishing to attend the exhibition. During November and December, every day on which the exhibition wasn’t completely sold out in advance was still booked for all evening hours.