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MFA Boston Reaches $415 Million For Building The New MFA Campaign
Ronald E. Logue (Chairman and CEO, State Street Corporation), Malcolm Rogers (Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA), and William W. Hunt (President and CEO State Street Global Advisors). Photo by Ron Cowie.

BOSTON, MA.- It was announced today at the annual meeting of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), that its Building the New MFA Campaign has reached $415 million of its $500 million goal. In addition, Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, announced that the new Campaign total includes a $10 million gift from State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT), the largest corporate contribution in MFA history. In recognition of this landmark gift, the MFA will name its Fenway entrance—which has been closed for more than two decades—the State Street Fenway Entrance. The Building the New MFA Campaign supports the Museum’s Building Project, which includes the construction of a new American Wing along Forsyth Way; the creation of the glass-enclosed Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard; the development of new educational facilities and conservation labs; the renovation of existing galleries, including significantly expanded space for contemporary art; and the addition of new visitor amenities and improved accessibility.

“We have reached an important milestone in our fundraising efforts,” said Malcolm Rogers. “Through the generosity of State Street, as well as our many other supporters, the MFA is achieving its vision of a new, more accessible Museum.”

In addition to the announcement of this major gift, recent Museum news was highlighted at its annual meeting, including: other Building the New MFA Campaign updates, Building Project developments, gifts of art, and the appointment of new Museum Trustees and Overseers, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts Governors:

Building the New MFA Campaign Updates - The Building the New MFA Campaign has reached $415 million, representing 83 percent of the overall $500 million Campaign goal. The Museum is the recent recipient of a $1.5 million Kresge Foundation challenge grant to help support the MFA’s education and community outreach programs and the creation of new education spaces—classrooms, a seminar room, learning galleries, and a 150-seat auditorium. The Kresge Foundation challenge grant provides a stimulus for fundraising efforts through which the Museum is reaching out to its 80,000 members and the public. Support through the Kresge challenge will benefit an endowment fund for education and community programs within the Building the New MFA Campaign. The Museum’s Building Project also has been awarded a grant of $675,000 from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund.

Building Project Developments - In July 2007, the Museum signed a purchase and sale agreement with The Forsyth Institute to acquire the Institute’s 107,000-square-foot property (completed in 1914) adjacent to the MFA at 140 Fenway. The unique opportunity to purchase this historic building, along with the Museum’s expansion plans for its new American Wing overlooking Forsyth Way and the revitalization of the Fenway entrance, will dramatically transform the Museum and its neighborhood for generations to come.

Excavation for the foundation of the MFA’s new American Wing, designed by Foster and Partners (London), is underway; upon completion of excavation, structural steel will be installed. Refurbishment of the Fenway entrance—to reopen as the State Street Fenway Entrance in Spring 2008— also is taking place. It will increase accessibility and enhance landscaping overlooking the Back Bay Fens section of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace. Inside the State Street Fenway Entrance, a new lobby and ticketing desk will be featured which will lead to the Sharf Visitor Center.

Gifts of Art - The MFA’s Gifts of Art Campaign, which runs as a parallel initiative to the Building the New MFA Campaign, received more than $2 million in funds for the purchase of art this past year and more than 1,300 gifts of art. Since its inception in 2001, it has raised more than $20 million in funds for the purchase of art, and has received thousands of gifts of art valued at more than $117 million. In addition, this past year, the Norma Jean Calderwood Challenge was successfully completed, resulting in the creation of an endowment fund of $8 million for Egyptian acquisitions.

Highlights of gifts received this past year include several important collections: the Geneviève McMillan Collection of 236 works of African and Oceanic art, 130 pieces of Saturday Evening Girls earthenware pottery (1908–1926), 189 Herb Ritts photographs, and 31 photographs from the series The Brown Sisters (1975–2006) by Nicholas Nixon. Additionally, important gifts of American art include: the wall painting Boston Harbor (ca. 1824) by Rufus Porter, a tall back side chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (1900), a silver-hooped cann (1799) by Paul Revere, Jr., 12 paintings and works on paper by Lois Mailou Jones, and a painting by Boston artist Allan Rohan Crite titled Tire Jumping in Front of My Window (1936–1947). Contemporary art gifts include: Skulldiver III (Flightmask) (2006) by Cecily Brown, I Dreamed my Bed Was Made (2006) by Christoph Schmidberger, Composition with Seaweed (2000) by Philip Taaffe, Fish Eye – Sixth of Ten Brothers (2005) by Chinatsu Ban, a photograph by Laura McPhee titled Judy Tracking Radio-Collared Wolves From Her Yard, Summer Range, H-Hook Ranch, Custer Country, Idaho (2006), and two sculptures by Anthony Caro, Lake (1967) and Deep Body Blue (1967). Other notable gifts include: a drawing by Gustav Klimt titled Woman in Kimono, left shoulder bare (1917–1918), an English silver candelabrum centerpiece (1806–1807), a British cabinet-on-stand (about 1805) attributed to James Newton, a woman’s dress designed by Pierre Cardin (1968), a late 19th-century ikat wall hanging, 11 pieces of jewelry designed by Italian jeweler Anton Frühauf (1914-1999), a British Arts and Crafts brooch designed by John Paul Cooper (1908), and a banjo made by Icilio Consalvi (about 1895).

New Trustees, Overseers, and Governors - The MFA also announced new members to its Board of Trustees, Board of Overseers, and a new Chairman of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Board of Governors. At the annual meeting Stokley Towles, newly elected Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, and Roger Servison, Board of Trustees President, welcomed new trustees: William Hunt, Dr. Carol Johnson, Ellyn McColgan, Pamela Voss, Carol Wall, and Carole Whittemore. The Board of Overseers, led by Chairman Susan B. Kaplan, welcomed the following new members: Lisa Schmid Alvord, Kathryn Costello, Sandra Edgerley, Saluni Fadia, Grace Fey, Gerald R. Jordan, Jr., Jane Macdonald, Laura Monrad, Myran Parker-Brass, Julia Pfannenstiehl, Kennedy Richardson, Christine Root, Carol Rutherfurd, Allison Salke, Terri Spoon, Gerardo Villacres, and Susan Walker. The new Chairman of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Board of Governors is Kathy Kirk.

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