Jennifer Pearson, the executive director of Houston’s Printing Museum (formerly The Museum of Printing History), has announced that the organization is set to reopen its doors on January 25, 2018. The museum has been closed since May of 2016 when it suffered damage caused by an electrical fire within a space the museum leased out to local businesses. Though the fire never spread to the museum’s collection, the facility’s HVAC system distributed soot throughout the 17,000 square-foot building, meaning that all objects in the space required professional cleaning.
Immediately after the fire, the museum called in Fort Worth-based restoration service Blackmon Mooring to restore the books and paper works that suffered smoke and water damage. While the organization expected to be closed for only three months, some hurdles meant the process took longer than expected: they lost their then-executive director Mark Osborne, hired Pearson, and chose to rewrite their mission. In a recent email, Pearson laid out this process:
In 2016, we identified the need to focus upon our collection as a way of improving our educational relevance and visitor experience moving forward. 2017 culminated with the rewrite of our Mission to, “To demonstrate the enduring impact of printing by exploring the intersections of the History, Art and Technology of the craft.” Come experience our new mission and renewed focus firsthand. We will open with a more inspired and stronger guided tour experience including the new opportunity to print a broadside of the pivotal Emancipation Proclamation on our 19th-century Columbian iron hand press. 2018 is just the beginning of our many planned changes, so please plan your next visits and expect more details in the months to come.
In 2018, the museum plans to host open houses, guest lectures, and other events. To see what’s happening at the Printing Museum, visit its website.