WASHINGTON, DC.-The Phillips Collection, Americas first museum of modern art, has raised $29 million, exceeding the $27-million goal of its Fulfilling the Vision campaign two years ahead of schedule, Director Jay Gates and Board Chairman George Vradenburg announced today. The campaign is the largest in the museums 84-year history. It was initiated in December 2001 to support a major renovation and addition project, to be completed in January 2006, which will allow the Phillips to modernize and expand its facilities and programming.
The museum will be able to present more of its outstanding collection in upgraded galleries, better engage its audiences with new amenities and services, and increase its renowned education and public programs, while maintaining its distinctive character as one of the worlds great intimately scaled museums. The renovation and addition project will culminate in April 2006, when some 60 European masterworks return home after an acclaimed four-year international tour.
The successful completion of the fundraising campaign was triggered by longtime Phillips supporter Victoria P. Sant, who, with her husband Roger, encouraged further giving by promising $9 million in matching funds for the project. Their challenge was met with gifts ranging from ten dollars to $5 million from some 900 donors over three-and-a-half years.
Additional major contributors to the campaign, each providing gifts of $1 million or more, were the Sherman Fairchild Foundation; an anonymous member of the Board of Trustees; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and Alan and Irene Wurtzel.
Other generous gifts were made by Mr. and Mrs. George Vradenburg, The Zickler Family Foundation, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Caroline and John Macomber, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Connors, Mrs. Yasuhiro Goh, Esthy and James Adler, Dr. and Mrs. Gerald W. Fischer, Léonard Gianadda, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Roderick Heller, III.
This critical commitment by the supporters of The Phillips Collection is a testament to the important role the museum plays in the lives of our neighbors and our loyal donors throughout the United States and abroad, all part of the Phillips family, said Jay Gates, director. With their help, we are now better equipped to serve our audiences and carry out our mission as a place for people to engage with great works of modern and contemporary art.
George Vradenburg, chairman of the Phillips board, commented, I am deeply gratified by the singular commitment of the Phillips board to realizing this ambitious campaign goal, and to ensuring the strengthened future of The Phillips Collection. And all of us are grateful to Victoria and Roger Sant for their exceptionally generous challenge, which proved so inspiring to so many.
It was a privilege for me and my husband, Roger, to be a part of the great success of this extraordinary campaign, commented longtime Phillips patron and former Board President and Chair Victoria P. Sant. Theres no question that the Phillips is among Washingtons most beloved cultural treasures; we are so pleased that the vitality of the museum will be assured for generations to come.
At a time when fundraising has been challenging for the cultural sector, the Phillips obtained great support from the philanthropic community and board members in particular, all of whom value the mission of the institution and the quality of the art experience offered by the intimate galleries and the outstanding collection. Further fundraising efforts will now be devoted to bolstering the institutions endowment for the museums future financial stability.