BOSTON.- At todays annual meeting of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), it was announced that the Museum has successfully concluded its historic $500 million Building the New MFA Campaignthe largest at a New England arts institutionexceeding its goal by raising $504 million. Contributions to the campaign, which began July 1, 2001, and ended June 30, 2008, were made by 25,674 people. In the final year of the campaign (from July 1, 2007June 30, 2008), $93 million was raised. It was also announced at the meetingattended by members of the MFA Board of Trustees, Board of Overseers, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts Board of Governorsthat the much anticipated topping off (placement of the final piece of steel) of the MFAs Building Project will occur by the end of September. A 2,500-pound beam will be raised 63 feet high and positioned atop the new American Wing and adjoining Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard. The MFAs Building Project is expected to be completed by late 2010.
This is an exciting time at the Museum. Not only did we reach our goal, but we surpassed itboth in funds raised and gifts of art donated to the MFA, said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director. The generosity of thousands of friends and supporters has made our vision a reality as we prepare to place the final piece of steel atop what will become a beautiful addition to our historic Museum.
Select Recent Contributions to the Building the New MFA Campaign
The MFA received a $5.5 million challenge grant from the Calderwood Charitable Foundation that helped to raise an additional $30.9 million from the Museums Board of Trustees in the final months of the campaign. The grant, which was awarded in April 2008, will name the Museums Middle Kingdom Gallery in honor of Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood and will support the upcoming exhibition, Egypt 2000 BC: Kingdom of Plenty.
In June 2008, the Museum received a $3 million grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation to name the Head of Objects Conservation in honor of Robert and Carol Henderson and to create a departmental endowment fund for use by this position. Mr. Henderson, an MFA Trustee, was chair of the campaign when it was launched in 2001.
The renowned Film Program, which presents hundreds of films and videos each year at the Museum, has been endowed and named by the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Foundation in conjunction with the Building the New MFA Campaign. (Ruth Shapiro is an honorary MFA Overseer.) The Film Program was founded and long championed by Trustee Katharine Stone White 50 years ago, and will now be known as the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Film Program at the MFA. Support of the program is a continuation of the Shapiro legacy at the Museum, which includes: the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard, the Shapiro Celebrity Lecture Series, the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Colonnade and Upper Rotunda, and the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Gallery. The Foundation also endowed the Ruth and Carl Shapiro Curator of Prints and Drawings.
The MFAs Giza Archives Project (gizapyramids.org) was awarded $1,214,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in June 2008. This consisted of a $714,000 grant for operating expenses (20082011), plus an additional $500,000 for Museum endowment awarded as part of a 3:1 challenge grant to the Museum, which now seeks to raise its share of the match: $1.5 million, and hopes to engage new corporate sponsors and patrons connected to archaeology, cultural preservation, and technology. This brings the total amount of support awarded to more than $2.8 million since the creation of the Giza Project seven years ago.
Gifts of Art
The MFAs Gifts of Art Campaign, which ran as a parallel initiative to Building the New MFA, has received since its inception in 2001 nearly 10,000 gifts of art valued well over $140 million and more than $25 million for the purchase of art, a combined total of more than $165 million. It will continue to be an important initiative as plans for the new American Wing and Linde Family Wing (former West Wing) become a reality. In FY 08 (July 1, 2007June 30, 2008), the Gifts of Art Campaign received more than 1,500 works of art valued at more than $23 million, as well as more than $6 million in contributions for the purchase of art.
Highlights of gifts received this year include two important collections:
The John Axelrod Collection consists of nearly 400 American Modern decorative arts from the middle half of the 20th century and is one of the premiere collections of its type in the nation. (John Axelrod is an honorary Overseer.) The collection has been carefully refined during the past three decades and now consists of furniture, silver, ceramics, glass, and metalwork by the top designers, craftsmen, and manufacturers of the period. It will transform the Museums holdings of mid-20th -century decorative arts into one of the strongest in the nation. Selections from The John Axelrod Collection will be prominently featured in the 1920s and 1930s gallery and the 1940s and 1950s gallery of the new American Wing.
A collection of 359 works was donated by Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf (Jean Sharf is an honorary Overseer and Frederic Sharf is an honorary Trustee). Included are 19th -century photographs, lithographs, drawings, photographs, and printed books from Japan highlighting the modernization of Japan and its engagement with the West.
Gifts of importance to the American collection include: the Goddess of Liberty weathervane (1876), which serves as a focal point in the MFAs new Sharf Visitor Center, also from Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf; an enamel on Limoges porcelain bowl by Jackson Pollock, titled Flight of Man (1939), from Mel Barkan and Overseer Hope Barkan; two paintings by Frederic Edwin Church, Erechtheum (186970) and Study for "The Parthenon (186970), from President of the MFA Board of Trustees Barbara L. Alfond and Theodore B. Alfond; 21 Pre-Columbian objects, featuring stonework from Mexico and Costa Rica, painted Maya ceramics from Guatemala and Honduras, and painted ceramics from early Peru (about 400 BC to 1500 AD), from Shirley Zaret; and a Maya censer stand (AD 700800) from an anonymous donor.
Contemporary art gifts include: the monumental sculpture by Antonio López García, Day (El día) and Night (La noche) (2008), which adorns the MFAs State Street Corporation Fenway Entrance, made possible with funds donated by Trustee Ernst von Metzsch and Gail von Metzsch; the sculpture Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism (2007) by Josiah McElheny, made possible with funds provided by the Linde Family Foundation (Joyce Linde is a Trustee); a Richard Diebenkorn drawing, Untitled (1987), a gift from Trustee Richard Lubin and Nancy Lubin; a David Smith sculpture titled Voltri XIX (1962), a gift from Trustee Susan Paine; and the sculpture Split Second (2006) by Tony Cragg, made possible with funds provided by members of the 20062007 Contemporary Art Visiting Committee.
Other notable gifts include: Twenty-eight piece toilet service in original leather case (about 17251730), marked by Johann Erhard II Heuglin and Philipp Jakob I Jäger, purchased with funds donated anonymously and with MFA funds; 18 large-scale Meiji era (about 190708) paintings which explore the westernization of Japan, purchased with funds donated anonymously and with MFA funds; the painting A Wooded Landscape with Travellers and a Dog on a Path (1675) by Jan Wijnants, from Overseer Linda H. Kaufman and George M. Kaufman; a Berlin déjeuner porcelain tête-à-tête service (1785), an anonymous gift made in memory of the late MFA curator Tracey Lynn Albainy; eight pieces of Danish Modern furniture, a gift from Michael Rotenberg and Overseer Karen Rotenberg; Raising of the Cross (1638) by Heyndrik Withouck, from Robert Bradford and Barbara Ketcham Wheaton; a late 19th-century male guardian figure (bieri) by Fang peoples, Gabon, a gift from Trustee Susan Paine; an evening dress designed by John Galliano for Christian Dior, as well as a pair of shoes by Galliano, made possible with funds from the Museums Fashion Council; and an Egyptian sculpture of a cat from Dynasty 26Ptolemaic Dynasty, 66430 BC, with funds provided by an anonymous donor.
Gifts of art also include several pieces of jewelry: Bee brooch (18901900), Orchid pendant (about 1905), and Hair ornament with antennae (about 1900 by René Lalique), all from Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Sataloff; Brooch (1908) by John Paul Cooper, from an anonymous donor; a Renaissance-revival ladies pocket watch (about 1890) from Tiffany and Company from Trustee Susan B. Kaplan; and an open-face mens pocket watch (1887) from Yvonne Markowitz. The Museums Building Project will include a gallery dedicated to jewelry, the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery in honor of the parents of Trustee Susan B. Kaplan.
New Trustees, Overseers, and Governors
The MFA also announced new members to its Board of Trustees, Board of Overseers, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts Board of Governors. At the annual meeting, Stokley Towles, Chairman of the Museums Board of Trustees, welcomed Barbara Alfond, who succeeds Roger Servison, as its new President, and Susan Donahue and Cleve Killingsworth as new Trustees. Sylvia Simmons, who succeeds Susan Kaplan as Chairman of the Board of Overseers, was welcomed, as were new Overseers: William Achtmeyer, Hope Barkan, Michelle Courten Brown, David Firestone, Victoria Glickman Hodgkins, Jane Jamieson, P. Andrews McLane, Timothy Phillips, Paula Price, Steven Rogowski, Karen Rotenberg, Jody Saarmaa, Mona Sadler, Lee Sinai, Lisbeth Tarlow, and Dorothy Terrell. New appointed Overseers are: Daren Bascome (chair, Multi-Cultural Audience Development Committee), Mark Dolny (chair, Museum Council), and Sharon McKay (chair, Gallery Instructors). Kathy Kirk, Chairman of the School
of the Museum of Fine Arts Board of Governors, welcomed new Governors: Annette Born, Abigail Ross Goodman, Nicholas Greville, and Phyllis Anina Moriarty.