BOSTON, MA (September 20, 2010)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), announced today that it has received—since July 1, 2010—several major gifts totaling more than $33.6 million. This includes the recent gift of $10 million from Bank of America, comprising $5 million in funds and $5 million in works of art (please see separate press release), as well as several additional seven-figure gifts, among them:

  • Simone and Alan Hartman—Reinstallation of several European Galleries (to be renamed the Hartman Galleries)
  • Leonard A. Lauder—Promised gift of his collection of some 100,000 postcards—the Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive, and, through the American Art Foundation, the endowment of the Leonard A. Lauder Curator of Visual Culture position, as well as continuing support for the cataloguing, digitization, and ongoing publication, exhibition and care of the postcards. The American Art Foundation is a private foundation established by Leonard A. Lauder where he serves as President. The American Art Foundation conducts business in the State of New York under the name of the American Contemporary Art Foundation.
  • Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf—Endowment of the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Curator of Design position
  • Lizbeth and George Krupp—Support of Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art

Gifts to the MFA in FY ’10
In FY ’10 (July 1, 2009–June 30, 2010), the Museum received many notable gifts totaling $57 million, which includes more than $31 million in funding and more than $26 million in gifts of art. Highlights include the following seven-figure gifts:

  • Jane and Neil Pappalardo—Endowment of the Curator of Musical Instruments
  • Michael C. Ruettgers—Creation of the Michael C. Ruettgers Ancient Coin Gallery (to open in 2012)
  • Vance Wall Foundation, Inc.—Enhancements to the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, redesign of the MFA’s website, and support for The New MFA, education programs, and the general fund
  • Anonymous Donor—Endowment of the Ananda Coomaraswamy Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art
  • Estate of Jetskalina H. Phillips—Bequest providing for the endowment of Curator of Judaica (Art of Europe) position and acquisition fund for the study of Judaica
  • Composition with Blue, Yellow, and Red (1927) by Piet Mondrian—the first Mondrian painting to enter the MFA’s Art of Europe collection, this significant example of pure abstraction illustrates the artist’s most spare style, where large areas of white are divided into zones by lines of black, and surrounded only by smaller rectangles of the primary colors: blue, yellow, and red. Gift from Maria and Conrad Janis in memory of Sidney and Harriet Janis, with gratitude to Arne Glimcher
  • Hanukkah Lamp (about 1750)—a major example of historical European Judaica, this Hanukkah lamp is made of hammered, cast, and engraved silver accented with gold. Funding through a group of generous Museum donors

The MFA also announced today the new officers of its Board of Trustees, Board of Overseers, and School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) Board of Governors. Richard Lubin is the new Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, replacing Stokley Towles, who has become Chairman-Emeritus of the Board. The new Chair of the MFA’s Board of Overseers is Susan Donahue, and the new Chair of the SMFA Board of Governors is Cathy Bennigson.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), opened the doors of its red brick and terra-cotta building in Copley Square on July 4, 1876. Over time, the rapid growth of the collection made a new location necessary and the Museum hired architect Guy Lowell to develop a master plan for a grand, classical museum. In November 1909, the MFA opened the doors to its present Beaux Arts-designed granite structure on Huntington Avenue, expanding through the years with major additions such as its Evans Wing (designed by Lowell) in 1915, and its West Wing (designed by I.M. Pei) in 1981. In 1999, the MFA commissioned the architectural firm, Foster + Partners (London), to develop a master site plan that would reflect the strong north/south axis of Lowell’s original design while addressing the MFA’s growing collection as well as the visitor experience. “The New MFA,” which has as its main components a wing for the Art of the Americas and the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard, was supported by a campaign that raised $504 million for substantial building and renovation enhancements to the Museum that allowed it to strengthen the endowment for programs and positions in perpetuity, and provide for critical annual operations. “The New MFA,” will open to the public on November 20, 2010, during a Free Community Day sponsored by Bank of America. In September 2011, the MFA’s new Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art will open.