With the new Madison Museum of Contemporary Art comes a bigger, better museum store. Its square footage will roughly double, and it will have entrances from State Street, the Overture Crossroads and the museum itself. It will continue to offer artist-made jewelry and gifts and expand its selection of books, art supplies and kids' items.
While today's ubiquitous museum shops may seem like frills, they're actually essential to an institution's bottom line. In its Civic Center days, the shop generated about 4%-5% of the museum's budget, and director Stephen Fleischman expects that figure to stay the same in the new facility.
While its new home was being constructed, MMoCA briefly experimented with a museum store in Middleton's upscale Greenway Station shopping center, but it folded after about eight months. "It was not economically viable," concedes Fleischman. "We would have loved to run it throughout the time of the construction, but it just doesn't work to separate the shop from the museum and its programming."