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Displaying items by tag: benefactor

As a child, Hamish Parker had to be dragged round the British Museum by his father. Now, decades later, he can’t keep away, making regular visits and extraordinary financial gifts to enable the acquisition of important treasures.


Parker is a British fund manager who has become one of the museum’s most generous benefactors. He is also one of its most private and low-key supporters.

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To celebrate her 100th birthday, the long-standing benefactor of Frankfurt's Städel Museum, Dagmar Westberg, has donated Jusepe de Ribera's "St. James the Greater" (ca. 1615/16) to the museum's old masters collection. The painting is one of the most valuable and significant works by the Spanish painter.

Ribera (1591-1652) is widely considered as one of the most important 17th century artists. His painting style united aspects of two major European artistic schools. Although Ribera was born in the Spanish province of Valencia, he spent most of his life working in the Italian cities of Rome and Naples. Consequently, he is thought of as not only one of the most influential Spanish artists, but also one of the most important Italian baroque painters.

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Boston College has announced that it will relocate its McMullen Museum of Art to an expanded facility on its Brighton campus thanks to a sizeable gift from the McMullen Family Foundation. The museum, which is named in honor of the parents of John J. McMullen -- a Boston College benefactor, trustee, and collector -- has occupied the same mixed-use building on the University’s Chestnut Hill campus since its founding in 1993.

The new venue, a Roman Renaissance Revival mansion from 1927, was designed by local architects Maginnis and Walsh. The mansion housed Boston’s Cardinal Archbishop for decades and was acquired by the college ten years ago as part of a large purchase of property from the city’s Archdiocese. Once the 7,000-square-foot addition is completed, the building will boast approximately 26,000 square feet -- nearly double the institution’s current exhibition space. The Boston-based architecture firm DiMella Shaffer Associates is helming the expansion project. 

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The director of the Ashmolean Museum, Dr. Alexander Sturgis, has announced that an anonymous UK benefactor has pledged a seven-figure sum of money to match donations to The Ashmolean Fund; a newly established fund to secure the future of Britain’s oldest museum - the news of this donation was released at a press conference in London.

The Ashmolean Fund plans to raise an endowment for the Museum of £50 million. The sum of money will provide at least £2 million annually, which is nearly 20% of its current operating budget, this is designed to support the Ashmolean in perpetuity.

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The National Gallery of Art's "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" (1878–1881) takes center stage in "Degas's Little Dancer," a focus exhibition on view through January 11, 2015. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' world-premiere musical "Little Dancer," which runs from October 25, 2014 through November 30, 2014. The musical is inspired by Edgar Degas's renowned original wax statuette of a young ballerina, which caused a sensation when it was first shown at the 1881 impressionist exhibition in Paris and is one of the most popular works of art in the Gallery of Art's collection.

"Thanks to the generosity of Gallery benefactor Paul Mellon, the Gallery has the largest and most important collection of Degas's original wax sculptures, including the groundbreaking 'Little Dancer Aged Fourteen,' one of the best-loved sculptures of all time," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art.

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Friday, 20 December 2013 18:13

National Gallery Acquires Ninth Van Gogh Painting

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has received Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Green Wheat Fields, Auvers,’ from the estate of museum benefactor, Paul Mellon. The work, which was painted late in the artist’s life, is the ninth Van Gogh painting to enter the museum’s collection. The work has not been displayed publicly since 1966.

‘Green Wheat Fields, Auvers’ is one of Van Gogh’s “pure landscapes,” which he painted following his confinement in an asylum. Scholars suggest that the artist found solace in the tranquility of nature towards the end of his life as his mental health deteriorated.

‘Green Wheat Fields, Auvers’ is currently on display in the National Gallery’s West Building alongside two other works by Van Gogh: the still life ‘Roses’ and the portrait ‘La Mousmé.’

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An anonymous donor has given $15 million to the future Pérez Art Museum Miami. The Miami Art Museum announced on Friday, May 17, 2013 that they received $12 million in cash and $3 million art. It is unclear whether the donor has had any involvement with the museum and why the benefactor wishes to remain nameless.

The Pérez Art Museum Miami, which is months away from opening, was formerly known as the Miami Art Museum. The institution closed in 2011 and construction on the new building, which was designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and overlooks Miami’s Biscayne Bay, began immediately. Fundraising efforts for the project began in 2004 when Miami-Dade county voters approved a general obligation bond for $100 million in public money. Private donors contributed another $60 million for the building’s construction and institutional endowment. After developer Jorge Pérez pledged $35 million to the project in 2011, officials decided to rename the Miami Art Museum The Pérez Art Museum Miami, which did not go over well and led to a number of board members and collectors withdrawing their support.

The latest gift, which comes with no strings attached, brings the museum to 85% of its $220 million fundraising goal. The generous donation will go towards the museum’s endowment.

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Friday, 22 March 2013 13:05

MOCA to Remain an Independent Institution

After partnership offers from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has decided to remain an independent institution. The museum has been struggling after a spate of financial issues and widespread criticism of its administration and overall direction.  

MOCA’s board released a statement on March 19, 2013 explaining, “The board is in agreement that the best future for MOCA would be as an independent institution. The Board understands that this will require a significant increase in MOCA’s endowment to ensure its strong financial standing. We are working quickly toward that goal, while at the same time exploring all strategic options, to honor the best interest of the institution and the artistic community we serve.” There are currently no artists on MOCA’s board after a number of high-profiled artists including John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and Barbara Kruger resigned earlier this year.

Earlier this month, LACMA Director Michael Govan offered to raise $100 million for MOCA’s two locations in exchange for the acquisition of the institution. The National Gallery was not interested in an institutional merger but offered to collaborate with MOCA on programming and research initiatives. Eli Broad, one of MOCA’s major benefactors, was in favor of partnering with the National Gallery.  

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