WORCESTER, MASS.- The Worcester Art Museum
today announced that it has received a $10 million gift from the C. Jean & Myles McDonough Charitable Foundationthe largest single donation in WAMs history. This contribution follows the Foundations $4 million endowment gift and naming of WAMs directorship in 2015, and continues Jean McDonoughs lifelong support of the Museum with a gift targeted at supporting both the Museums near-term needs and its long-term financial health.
The Worcester Art Museum is a tremendous resource for culture and education for people throughout New England, and an institution greatly deserving all of our support, said Neil McDonough. With my mothers gift, we see an opportunity to strengthen the Museums current operations, encourage growth of the endowment, and support its ambitious plans for the future. Lisa McDonough, a WAM Trustee and Jean McDonoughs daughter-in-law, added: We hope that by making this commitment, other members of our community will also step forward to ensure that WAM continues to thrive.
On behalf of the Worcester Art Museum, I would like to thank the McDonough familyand Jean in particularfor this exceptional gift, which benefits both the Museum, and the community we serve. It reflects Jeans lifelong devotion to the Museum, which she describes as her second home. For years, she served as a forward-thinking trustee and as a docent extraordinaire, who introduced thousands of school children to the Museum collection, and we are tremendously grateful for her past engagement. Now she has demonstrated ongoing leadership by providing a gift that will create new opportunities for the Museum, said Matthias Waschek, the Museums C. Jean and Myles McDonough Director.
The Worcester Art Museum creates transformative programs and exhibitions, drawing on its exceptional collection of art. Dating from 3,000 BC to the present, these works provide the foundation for a focus on audience engagement, connecting visitors of all ages and abilities with inspiring art and demonstrating its enduring relevance to daily life. Creative initiatives including pioneering collaborative programs with local schools, fresh approaches to exhibition design and in-gallery teaching, and a long history of studio class instructionoffer opportunities for diverse audiences to experience art and learn both from and with artists.
Since its founding in 1896, the Worcester Art Museum has assembled a collection of 38,000 objects: from the ancient Near East and Asia, to European and American paintings and sculptures, and continuing with works by contemporary artists from around the world. WAM has a history of making large scale acquisitions, such as its Medieval Chapter House, the Worcester Hunt Mosaic, its 15th-century Spanish ceiling, and the Flemish Last Judgment tapestry. In 2013, the Museum acquired the John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, comprising two thousand arms and armor objects. It continues to commission and present new works, such as 2017s installation of the interactive Reusable Universes and Organic Concept works by Shih Chieh Huang.