Cricket and Jim Lockhart Champion the Bruce MuseumBack
At the Bruce Museum, Cricket and Jim Lockhart are often cited as one of the Museum’s “first families.” Their love for the Bruce is shared by their Greenwich children and grandchildren. On a recent visit, their oldest grandson, age seven, was fascinated by the Museum’s annual iCreate exhibition of work by high school artists. “He was looking at each painting, analyzing each, picking out his favorite, and wanting to know how old the artist was,” notes Grandfather Jim. Treated to a requested pad and colored pencils from the Museum store, “He was drawing in the car going home.”
Museum-going is a Lockhart legacy. Cricket had grandparents living near the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Every trip to see them brought a tour of the Met. When visiting his Westchester-based grandparents, Jim was taken to the Bruce. “It’s in the blood,” he notes. “We’ve lived in a lot of different places, and we’ve always gone to museums.”
Today, Jim serves as the Chair of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, while Cricket serves on the Campaign for the New Bruce Committee and is one of the Co-Chairs of the Campaign launch event, Bruce ConsTRUCKS on Sunday, September 8, a community-wide celebration of the Museum’s transformative renovation and construction project. They are both championing the giant step the Bruce is taking in its expansion.
“It’s the aesthetics,” says Cricket. “You’re going to have it looking out toward the Sound – the entrance, with a big sculpture pathway.”
“We’re going to have much larger permanent art galleries – in fact, four of them,” adds Jim, “and one big giant changing gallery so we’ll be able to do larger-scale exhibitions. We’ll be able to fill that up with the many great art collections in Town that are being promised. Expanding the science wing will be extremely important as well.”
“It is very rare to have a combination science and art museum,” cites Cricket. “We’re fortunate to have a dual mission like that, with all the educational elements combined.”
“The core of the Museum is education,” notes Jim, “because that’s where we’re really helping the community, not just Greenwich, but Westchester, all of Fairfield County, and New York City, too. We have about 25,000 kids come through a year. We’re hoping to double that with a much expanded education area.”
“We are going to have a whole new program called Engineering Tomorrow, an incredible engineering program for high school students,” says Cricket, “It’s a first of its kind.”
“But there are also programs for children as young as age two; programs for people of all abilities, people with memory loss and their caretakers. So, it’s a very comprehensive program that the Bruce has, and they’re going to enhance it tremendously. Then we have the Brucemobile program that goes out to schools and also the Bruce’s Seaside Center at Greenwich Point Park, which is absolutely amazing.”
Meanwhile, the Lockhart’s daughter, Grace Djuranovic, is cultivating a younger generation of Museum members, the Bruce Contemporaries. “It’s growing by leaps and bounds,” says Cricket. “They already have 85 members. They tour people’s collections, they do crawls of different galleries on Greenwich Avenue and in Stamford, and support the Seaside Center’s science and natural history programs with ‘Sips on the Sound,’ a wonderful event each summer.”
“I’ve always loved the science,” says Jim. “Our Science Curator, Dr. Daniel Ksepka, has done a great job, and his plans for the new science galleries are going to be really good.”
“He’s doing an installation from the Ice Age in the new permanent science gallery,” notes Cricket, “What this area looked like, going back in time. They’ll have dioramas – very student- and child-friendly. It’s going to be tremendously interactive.”
“It gets kids away from their little iPads. It’s not only history and science. It’s civilization. Things that are new and contemporary,” says Cricket. “We’re even going to have a feathered dinosaur,” adds Jim.
“If you wander through here in the morning, you see these kids listening to someone explain the painting, or something in science, the shark exhibition at the moment, and the kids really love it. That’s the next generation. That’s what a lot of our donors are looking at, the idea of an expanded education opportunity here.”