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December 19th, 2000
Museum Launches a 125th Anniversary Campaign to Raise $200 Million Through 2001 Fund

Raymond G. Perelman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, today announced the Museum's 125th anniversary campaign to raise a total of $200 million over the next three years, the most ambitious fundraising drive in its history. The 2001 FUND, as it is called, will support the growth of the Museum's endowment, currently at $171 million, the expansion of the Museum's physical facilities, scholarship and exhibitions, award-winning and innovative programs including conservation and education, and the Museum's world-renowned collections. Toward the $200 million goal, a recent gift of $10 million from Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest has brought to $94.6 million the total raised to date. More than half of this amount raised so far will be for the endowment.

In making public the Museum's campaign goal, a decision the Board unanimously approved at its December 14 meeting, Mr. Perelman said: "As we prepare to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Museum's auspicious birth, at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, where the great Centennial Exposition of 1876 marked the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we must take steps to invest in the Museum's future and ensure that its tremendous promise is realized for future generations.

"The leaders of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in 1876 must have foreseen that the Museum they founded would one day be counted among the world's great art institutions. Today, everyone in Philadelphia and the tri-state region are beneficiaries of this treasure, built by more than a century of enlightened support from legendary collectors, thousands of members and contributors, and generations of leaders of the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Like Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest, these individuals have contributed to the public good, not only for the enjoyment of art but also in civic pride and urban vitality. As we reflect upon this dramatic evolution, we resolve to ensure, through the 2001 FUND, the Museum's undiminished vibrancy in the years ahead."

In 1997, the Museum formed a campaign cabinet for the 2001 FUND and Trustees Kathleen C. Sherrerd, Berton E. Korman, and H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest were appointed as co-chairs. Serving also with them in the cabinet are Trustees Dennis Alter, Jack R Bershad, Julian A. Brodsky, Betsy Z. Cohen, William M. Hollis, Jr., Harvey S. Shipley Miller, Raymond G. Perelman, Bruce E. Toll, and Lorine E. Vogt. Mr. Miller, in a separate 125th Anniversary initiative, chairs the committee dedicated to acquiring Gifts that Transform, an effort that has already attracted superb gifts of works of art from more than 40 donors, at least one work for each of the eight curatorial departments.

The board's decision to announce the campaign for the 2001 FUND after a three-year quiet phase has followed a period during which monetary gifts of more than $1 million were secured from 25 individuals and foundations. Contributors include Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman ($15 million); William M. Hollis, Jr. and Andrea Baldeck, MD. ($6.3 million); The Annenberg Foundation ($5 million); the late Trustee Lewine Russell ($5 million); an anonymous donor ($3 million); and gifts of over $2 million by Trustees Mrs. Stephanie Eglin, and Dennis Alter and his wife Gisela. In addition, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made grants totaling $4,475,000. Among these Mellon Foundation contributions is a recent challenge grant of $2.5 million, to be matched by the Museum, to endow an existing senior conservation position and three new fellowships in conservation. This challenge grant brings the Museum one step closer to its goal of endowing all of its senior positions.

The Lenfests' $10 million gift, following the $15 million contribution earlier this year by the Perelmans, has brought the total funds raised to date to nearly half of the 2001 FUND goal. Mr. Lenfest said: "Our mandate on the campaign cabinet is to sustain the legacy of those who helped build this great institution and to secure its continued vitality for future generations. The Museum's contributions to the field of art and to the cultural life of our community are both great and greatly disproportionate to its modest endowment. A gift that can be used for the endowment is a gift to our future; to Philadelphia and to this region, and to the large and diverse public the Museum serves. Marguerite and I are delighted to contribute, and hope that others will follow."

The endowment of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the oldest and most prestigious art museums in the country, is smaller than many of its sister institutions, including The Cleveland Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Toledo Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and The Henry Francis Dupont Winterthur Museum.

Anne d'Harnoncourt, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said: "We have reached an extraordinary moment in our 125 year history when we can envision for the Museum, along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and in Fairmount Park, a campus embracing the main building, the Rodin Museum, the historic Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove park houses which we administer, and the newly-acquired Perelman Building into which we will soon expand.

"As we plan ahead, the Museum is extraordinarily fortunate to have such civic spirits as the Lenfests and the Perelmans. We are also blessed by the longstanding support for our operations that we receive from the City of Philadelphia, helping us to guard and maintain our buildings, and to draw 80,000 schoolchildren into our galleries every year, while sending our educators into schools throughout the community to share our cultural resources. Our mission going forward remains to delight and educate our visitors, members, and students of all ages, connecting people with great works of art, and to do so in extraordinary new ways. I believe that the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has even more, yet unfulfilled, potential and that its future is filled with promise."

Ms. d'Harnoncourt outlined the major priorities and initiatives that will drive the Museum forward in the years ahead:

  • Developing superb facilities in the Museum's newly acquired historic, Art Deco landmark, the Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building, which will house the Museum's large and fine collections of Costume and Textiles, Prints, Drawings and Photographs, and 20th Century Design, as well as the Library and Archives and several administrative functions.
  • Renovating the Museum's main building to reinstall and create additional galleries for the American Wing, the Asian Collections and for Contemporary Art, while providing new spaces to welcome our visitors and well-equipped facilities for expanded education programs.
  • Acquiring exciting works of art that transform the Museum's permanent collections, offer new and enriching visual encounters and reinforce the Museum as a major cultural destination for citizens of the region and of the world.
  • Sustaining the best talent in the field of conservation to preserve the Museum's collections for future generations, and encouraging research, scholarship and publication.
  • Developing groundbreaking exhibitions, crafted by the Museum's curatorial experts, that build upon relationships with museums and private collectors worldwide and that delight visitors as they interact with great works of art.
  • Initiating innovative education programs, directed and taught by Museum staff and visiting educators that introduce new generations of visitors, students and their families to imaginative, enlightening experiences in the world of art.
  • Using new technologies to implement a collections management system that will establish a single integrated, informational database for all 300,000 works of art in the collections. Available to all Museum departments and ultimately to the public-families, educators, students, scholars, enthusiasts and visitors-the database will provide rapid and in-depth access to the Museum's immense artistic resources.

The Museum's last capital campaign, the Landmark Renewal Fund, was conducted in 1986-93, and raised $64 million.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is among the largest museums in the United States, with a collection of more than 227,000 works of art and more than 200 galleries presenting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, decorative arts, textiles, and architectural settings from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Its facilities include its landmark Main Building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Perelman Building, located nearby on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Rodin Museum on the 2200 block of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and two 18th-century houses in Fairmount Park, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove. The Museum offers a wide variety of activities for public audiences, including special exhibitions, programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.

For additional information, contact the Marketing and Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at (215) 684-7860. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100, or visit the Museum's website at www.philamuseum.org.

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