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Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art mourns loss of philanthropic leader Adele Hall
Don and Adele Hall in their home. Photo by Mark McDonald.

KANSAS CITY, MO.- The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art joins the Hall family and Hall Family Foundation in profound sadness with the announcement that Adele Hall, 81, died Saturday in Hawaii. The Nelson-Atkins was honored to be among the many organizations and civic efforts that benefitted from Mrs. Hall’s philanthropic leadership.

“This is a day of great sorrow,” said Sarah F. Rowland, Chair of the Nelson-Atkins Board of Trustees. “We loved Adele dearly, and she and Don have made a profound impact on the museum and the entire community. For us, Adele was a pillar of generosity and support, and we will deeply miss her kind spirit and her leadership.”

Mrs. Hall, known for her warmth and grace, was instrumental in supporting every facet of the museum with her husband, Donald J. Hall. Mr. Hall is a former Chair of the Board and was a member of the governing body for 31 years.

Through many years of involvement, Mrs. Hall garnered tremendous financial support for the transformation of the Nelson-Atkins. She was co-chair with Morton Sosland of the Generations Campaign, and she reached out personally to hundreds of people to inspire their support for the museum. From 1997 to 2005, through dedication, they raised millions of dollars for the museum expansion and the endowment fund, which resulted in the renovation of the Nelson-Atkins Building and the opening of the Bloch Building in 2007.

“Adele and Don shared a passion for art that inspired me and made me excited to come to Kansas City and be part of this city’s love of culture,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. “They have shown me what can result from years of service, stewardship and love of an entire community, in which the museum was honored to be included.”

Together the Halls became connoisseurs of art in general, but particularly African art. They built an extensive collection that included masterworks. The museum announced in January 2010 that the Halls would give seven stellar works from their collection to the Nelson-Atkins in celebration of the museum’s 75th Anniversary. The Halls were responsible through many years of helping acquire monumental works of art, especially sculptures in the Kansas City Sculpture Park. The Hall Family Foundation also nurtured the Hallmark Photographic Collection over several decades, one of the finest private collections in the world, which was acquired by the Nelson-Atkins in 2006.

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