Furthering a Legacy of Involvement with the MFA

Planned Giving Staff

Peri Onipede directs her legacy to the MFA programs closest to her heart

Peri Onipede enjoyed her involvement with her alma mater, Bentley University, and began looking for other ways to support the Boston community. Art has been important to her since a young age; her parents displayed work by local artists in their home in Nigeria and fostered an appreciation of art. “Among our local arts organizations, I was attracted to the MFA’s global collection,” Peri says. “Some areas are stronger than others, but the world is represented. There’s so much to offer.”

Over 20 years, the MFA became an integral part of Peri’s life. As an Honorary Advisor, she has participated in numerous committees and groups, including the Patron Program and two Curators Circles, African and Oceanic Art and Black Arts and Artists. As the Museum became central to her social life, she introduced many friends to the joys of MFA exhibitions and developed warm friendships with many staff. “The MFA can be intimidating from the outside, but in recent years, I’ve watched it become more open,” she says. “I feel like it’s my Museum—a second home.”

In 2007 Peri chose to give her beloved collection of Adire indigo-dyed textiles to the MFA in honor of her parents. The textiles have become a signature object in the Richard B. Carter Gallery (171) and were featured in “MFA Journey: Explore 150 Years in 15 Works of Art,” a tour celebrating the Museum’s history that was developed in 2020 for the MFA’s 150th anniversary. Their vibrant patterns are a favorite among visitors and they are even reproduced as part of the MFA’s signature COVID-19 mask collection. “These were textiles I loved because I grew up with them, and they were what everyday people wore,” Peri says. “When I heard they were a mask, it just made sense!”

Peri Onipede Headshot
Peri Onipede

As a career fundraiser at universities and nonprofits, Peri has often asked supporters to consider a planned gift. When making her own estate plans, she chose to include the MFA. “I appreciate the MFA’s educational seminars on charitable gift and estate planning as a resource—professionally, but also personally,” she says. “They helped me contemplate leaving a legacy at the MFA. It’s a pretty painless process.”

When she decided to include the MFA in her estate plans, Peri worked with the Planned Giving office to draft a provision in her will that reflects both her interests and the Museum’s future needs. She chose to direct her bequest to the aspects of the MFA most important to her: the textile and African art collections. She says, “When young curatorial talent arrives in the future, I want to help make sure they have the resources to grow professionally and share the collection in new ways.”

Contemplating your legacy? Consider sharing your intentions with the MFA’s Planned Giving office. We’re here to provide information on the various options. We’d also like to share special updates and invitations to educational programs in thanks for your support.