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The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has received a $2 million gift from trustee Joleen Julis and her husband, Mitch, museum officials announced. The donation is the largest gift from an individual ever made to the Smithsonian’s modern and contemporary art museum.

The donation will establish the “Future Fund,” a $4 million effort to re-design the museum’s lobby and sculpture garden, according to Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu.

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Before artist and philanthropist Mary Koch died in 1990, she asked her daughter-in-law, Liz, to watch after some things that were dear to her once she was gone.

One of them was the Wichita Center for the Arts.

“She was so passionate about it,” said Liz Koch, an honorary trustee for the Center.

She and her husband, Charles, and their family’s foundations are now fulfilling Mary Koch’s wish in a significant way: They’re giving $10.5 million in land and money for a new home for the Center, which started in 1920 as the Wichita Art Association.

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The Cleveland Museum of Art announced a $19 million campaign challenge gift from trustee and Dealer Tire CEO Scott Mueller, which nearly completes the institution's decade-long capital fundraising effort. When combined with Mueller's initial campaign commitment of $1 million, three $1 million restricted gifts, and his annual contributions, at more than $23 million, he ranks among the top donors in the museum's history.  

"Mr. Mueller's historic commitment represents the capstone of our capital campaign. We are simply in awe of his generosity and believe that these gifts further establish his standing among Cleveland's storied philanthropists," said Cleveland Museum of Art director William Griswold. "Mr. Mueller's giving has impacted so many dimensions of the museum's work and reinforces everything we're trying to accomplish."

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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has appointed Leah Dickerman as the first Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture. The position was recently established by Marlene Hess, a philanthropic consultant and a Museum Trustee since 2002. Hess’ endowment will provide essential funding to support MoMA’s current and future curatorial goals.

According to a press release from the museum, MoMA’s Director, Glen D. Lowry, said, “The Museum of Modern Art is grateful for this important endowment from our generous and longtime trustee Marlene Hess. Marlene's commitment to the Museum's curatorial and intellectual development is exemplary and her support helps us realize our goals for the future."

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Works from the life estate of Paul Mellon, longtime VMFA donor and trustee, are in the newly reinstalled Mellon Galleries, opening on Friday, January 16. The galleries have been closed for six months to protect the art during a roof replacement. Eleven works have been reframed as a part of the ongoing Mellon reframing project.

The life estate remained with Mellon’s widow, Rachel Lambert Mellon, until her death on March 17, 2014. Mrs. Mellon held a life estate in 26 works of art originally bequeathed to VMFA in 1999 by Mr. Mellon. Among the highlights are six masterworks by Degas, Gauguin, Pissarro, Seurat, Dufy, and van Dongen.

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Recent additions of artwork representing medieval Europe, the Ancient Americas, 20th-century photography, and contemporary art further enhance the Cleveland Museum of Art’s permanent collection. World-renowned for its quality and breadth, the collection represents almost 45,000 objects and 6,000 years of achievement in the arts.

The latest acquisitions include a Virgin and Child, a rare 13th-century wooden sculpture from the Mosan region of Europe; a Standing Female Figure, a clay figure representative of the Classic Veracruz period on Mexico’s Gulf Coast; and Just the two of us, one of contemporary artist Julia Wachtel’s first paintings to employ cartoons. The museum also announced the addition of eight photographs by Ansel Adams, a gift from Frances P. Taft, a longtime museum supporter and trustee.

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The documentary maker and writer Hannah Rothschild is to become the first woman chair of the National Gallery, it was announced on Monday. She will head the board of trustees when the businessman Mark Getty – grandson of the oil tycoon J Paul Getty and son of the philanthropist Paul Getty – steps down at the end of his term on August 10, 2015.

Rothschild, a trustee since 2009, said: “From a very young age, the National Gallery has been a source of inspiration and solace.

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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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Monday, 08 September 2014 16:29

The Met Debuts Renovated Fifth Avenue Plaza

On September 9, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will debut its renovated David H. Koch Plaza. The four-block-long plaza, which stretches across the museum’s landmark Fifth Avenue façade, took two years to renovate. The $65 million-project was helmed by OLIN, a Los Angeles- and Philadelphia-based landscape architecture, urban design, and planning firm. David H. Koch, a Museum Trustee, funded the entire project.

The revamped plaza will include new paving, energy-efficient lighting, tree-shaded allées, and seating areas for visitors.

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Between 1973 and 1996 Carter Burden, a former trustee of the Morgan Library & Museum and onetime New York City councilman, assembled the greatest collection of modern American literature in private hands. In doing so, Burden revolutionized the market in modern first editions by paying record prices for copies in the best possible condition and with notable attributes such as authors’ annotations and presentation inscriptions. The depth and breadth of his holdings were truly extraordinary—spanning the twentieth century and including focused concentrations on such movements as the Lost Generation, the Beats, and the Harlem Renaissance.

Beginning in 1997, after Burden’s sudden death the previous year, his family has made a gift to the Morgan of twelve thousand volumes from his collection. Gatsby to Garp: Modern Masterpieces from the Carter Burden Collection, on view from May 20 through September 7, brings together nearly one hundred outstanding works from the collection, including first editions, manuscripts, letters, and revised galley proofs.

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