BOSTON, MA.- The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
(MFA), announces today that it has received a commitment of $10 million from Bank of America, a longtime supporter of the MFA and one of the worlds largest financial institutions. This donation comprises $5 million in funding and $5 million in gifts of art. The funding supports Museum exhibitions, programs, operating expenses, and capital improvements, in addition to special events surrounding the opening in November of the Museums new wing for the Art of the Americas and Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard. The donation of art valued at $5 million includes the oil painting Blue Green Yellow Orange Red (1968) by acclaimed American contemporary artist Ellsworth Kelly, as well as other works to be selected from the Bank of America Collection, one of the oldest and largest corporate art assemblages in the world. In recognition of Bank of Americas long-time support of the MFA, which includes more than $15 million in philanthropic giving to date, the MFA will name the plaza in front of its Huntington Avenue entrance the Bank of America Plaza on the Avenue of the Arts.
Bank of America has been a preeminent supporter of arts and culture for many yearsaround the globe as well as here in Boston. This gift of funds, in addition to this iconic painting by Ellsworth Kelly, affirms the companys position as a civic leader and its strong commitment to both the Museum and the cultural life of the city of Boston, said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA. I am delighted to recognize Bank of Americas generosity by naming our plaza on the Avenue of the Arts in its honor. I extend my gratitude to Bank of America for being such a devoted benefactor of the Museum and our community.
The New Wing
As the Museum prepares for the opening of its new wing for the Art of the Americas in November, it is planning a series of events, supported by Bank of America, celebrating The New MFA. The wing is the centerpiece of the MFAs major expansion and renovation project, designed by internationally renowned architects Foster + Partners (London). It allows the MFA to display more than 5,000 works of art, spanning three millennia, from North, Central, and South America. The wing will open to the public on Saturday, November 20, during a free Community Day. Other special events are planned for the public, for MFA members, and for campaign donors throughout November. The opening of The New MFA is sponsored by Bank of America and the media sponsor is The Boston Globe.
Bank of America has a long and proud heritage of supporting the arts and some of Americas most illustrious arts institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, said Anne M. Finucane, Global Strategy and Marketing officer. We recognize the important role the arts play in sustaining and stimulating the cultural and economic vitality of Boston and the many communities we serve, and we continually look for meaningful ways to partner with museums to open up access to the arts. We are incredibly honored to re-team with the MFA and, with the opening of the Museums new wing, the residents of Boston and beyond can enjoy extraordinary works of art that span 3,000 years and the larger part of the Western Hemispherean artistic distinction that is sure to enhance Bostons cultural landscape.
Bank of America Plaza
The naming of the Bank of America Plaza on the Avenue of the Arts reinforces the corporate-cultural partnership between two leading institutionsBank of America and the MFAand their commitment to broadening the reach of arts and culture, as well as enriching the communities they serve. Bank of Americas interest in making art available to all led to its support (through the Building the New MFA campaign) of renovations to the Museums Huntington Avenue entrance. In addition to making it more accessible to all visitors, the redesign, which included the plaza, created a more welcoming environment while preserving the grandeur of the buildings classic Beaux Arts designconceived by the Museums original architect, Guy Lowell. The plaza, where Cyrus Dallins bronze sculpture, Appeal to the Great Spirit (1909), greets passersby, is a place where friends can meet before beginning their visit to the MFA, or for the presentation of special community events. This elegant and spacious area along the Avenue of the Arts features a semi-circular driveway made of the same Deer Isle granite as used on the Museums façade, surrounded by lush landscaping. At the entrance to the MFA, monumental brass urns rest on granite plinths, which have been recently chiseled to read Bank of America Plaza on the Avenue of the Arts. These will be unveiled this evening by Malcolm Rogers and Anne Finucane during a ceremony attended by members of the Museums Board of Trustees and Board of Overseers.
Drawn from Bank of Americas renowned art collection, Ellsworth Kellys monumental five-panel painting (approximately 10 by 22 feet), Blue Green Yellow Orange Red (1968), is a seminal example of the artists early experiments using shaped canvases for his exploration of perception and figure/ground relationships. It is one of Kellys most impressively scaled works from the late 1960s, and represents one of the Museums most important recent acquisitions from this period. In addition to becoming a signature work of the MFAs contemporary collection, the painting will serve as a focal point in the Museums Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, which will open in September 2011 as a center for the display of works created since the mid 20th century. Kelly, one of the most significant American artists working today, is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. (The MFA will also pay tribute to Kellys work in sculpture through an exhibition that will open with the Linde Family Wing in September 2011.) Also next year, the Museum will present Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection (February 9 through June 19, 2011), which will showcase numerous iconic images by leading photographers from the 1840s to the present drawn from the Bank of America Collection.
A Proven Partnership
With its latest investment, Bank of America is the MFAs largest corporate donor. The banks previous gift of $5 million to the Museums Building the New MFA campaign (20012008) provided funding for the MFAs building project, as well as special exhibitions, programs, and accessibility initiatives. Through the years, Bank of America has also provided funding for the MFAs ongoing Access Programming, a series of services and offerings that engage participants of all ages and abilities in the life of the Museum, as well as several major exhibitions at the MFA. These include The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC (2009);
El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of King Philip III (2008), organized by the MFA with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University; and Americans in Paris (2006), organized by the MFA and the National Gallery, London, in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The MFA is also a participant in Bank of Americas Museums on Us® program, which provides bank cardholders with free museum access on the first full weekend of each month.