ROCKLAND, ME.- The Farnsworth Art Museum
announced an endowment campaign in celebration of the life and artistic legacy of Andrew Wyeth. The Andrew Wyeth Memorial Endowment, a $12 million campaign, will provide funds to support the maintenance and operation of four of the museums properties: the Olson House in Cushing, the Wyeth Study Center, the Wyeth Center, and the Wyeth Research Center.
The campaign will be realized through a one-time auction of museum quality art works donated by artists, collectors, philanthropists or any other person who has an interest in honoring Andrew Wyeth and supporting the mission of the Farnsworth. The auction will take place at Sothebys in New York City in October of 2010. To underline the importance of this endowment, members of the Wyeth family will make lead gifts for this auction including works by N.C., James, and Andrew Wyeth.
Farnsworth Art Museum Interim Director and Chief Curator Michael K. Komanecky stressed the endowments importance to the museum. This is nothing less than a transformative event in the Farnsworths history. The income from the Wyeth Endowment will provide critical support to the facilities in which the museum presents its nationally recognized Wyeth-related programs. This kind of support is often extremely difficult to obtain in that it is less visible than the programs themselves, though every bit as important. The income from this endowment will enable the museum to concentrate its fund raising efforts on securing the resources to provide programs that further the museums mission of celebrating Maines role in American art. We look forward to working with Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth to make the auction a resounding success.
Richard Aroneau, President of the Board of Trustees had this to say: "This campaign, initiated and led by Phyllis Wyeth, represents a great gift to the Farnsworth Art Museum and the broad community it serves. It will, in a sense, complete the visionary expansion of the museum campus begun in the 1990s by permanently underwriting the annual operating expenses of four museum properties. The art of three generations of artists in the Wyeth family forms a cornerstone of the museum's collection. By enabling the Farnsworth to deepen and fulfill its unique mission in celebration of Maine's extraordinary role in American art, this endowment will be a wonderful and altogether fitting memorial to Andrew Wyeth's legacy.
This endowment is important to the Wyeth family as well, said Phyllis Wyeth, It is an expression of the familys deep belief that the legacy of Andrew Wyeth is intimately tied to the Farnsworth, here on the coast of Maine, where he spent almost every summer of his life, where he created so much of his finest work, and where he was so at home and so loved.