Anne d'Harnoncourt, Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, announced today that the 2001 FUND--the Museum's 125th anniversary capital campaign to raise $200 million--has raised more than $125 million to date. This major campaign milestone has been reached with the receipt of a total of $25 million in grants from the Annenberg Foundation, including a new gift of $20 million, the largest monetary gift to be received by the Museum to date. The Foundation's initial $5 million grant was made public last December when the Museum announced the capital campaign.
"Today, at the midpoint of the Museum's 125th anniversary year, it is euphoric poetry to be able to say that with these splendid grants totaling $25 million from the Annenberg Foundation, our capital campaign has now passed the $125 million mark," commented Miss d'Harnoncourt. "As we reflect on our first 125 years, and as we plunge into the next 125 years with ambitious plans and boundless enthusiasm, we are so very, very thrilled to have such terrific support. We are deeply grateful to Leonore and Walter Annenberg for their extraordinary generosity to this museum.
"Their wonderful gift and this important milestone for the campaign also provide an occasion to honor the many private individuals and civic leaders who, since the Museum's birth at the great Centennial Exhibition of 1876, have contributed to the growth of this vibrant institution, the vitality of the visual arts, the city, and the region."
"The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the world's great museums," said Leonore Annenberg, who is President and Vice Chairman of the Annenberg Foundation. "My husband and I personally have participated in its growth since the mid 1950s and we are delighted to assist in ensuring its promising future."
The Annenberg Foundation grants are dedicated to enabling the Museum to continue making acquisitions of great works of art ($10 million); to organizing groundbreaking exhibitions and publishing related scholarly catalogues ($10 million); and to enabling the Museum to fully digitize its collections and expand their outreach via the Internet ($5 million). These grants totaling $25 million follow the Annenberg Foundation's gift to the Museum of $5 million made during the last capital campaign, the Landmark Renewal Fund, concluded in 1993, in addition to numerous other gifts.
Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg and his wife, Leonore, have for nearly five decades been generous supporters of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which named The Annenberg Galleries in their honor in 1994. A graduate of Stanford University, Leonore Annenberg joined the Museum's Board of Governors in 1954 and has served as a Trustee since 1964. She also served on the Steering Committee of the Landmark Renewal Fund. Earlier this year, as Honorary Chair of the 125th Anniversary Gala, she hosted a group of ambassadors and foreign dignitaries at the Museum to commemorate the Museum's birth as an outgrowth of the Centennial Exhibition.
Mrs. Annenberg is a former White House Chief of Protocol and currently serves on The Committee for the Preservation of the White House. She has spent most of her life working toward the enhancement of cultural appreciation and has served as a trustee of many important cultural organizations. She is a member of the distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania and a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is also a former member of the boards of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and The Philadelphia Orchestra Association and a Charter Member of the Philadelphia Orchestra's International Council and serves as a member of the Academy of Music Committee. Mrs. Annenberg has received honorary degrees from LaSalle University, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University, among others. She has received many awards for public service and, earlier this year, was the first recipient of the Crystal Award, which was presented to her by the Union League of Philadelphia for her contributions to the arts and the humanities.
Walter H. Annenberg, who has been an honorary trustee of the Museum for several decades, founded the predecessor philanthropic organization to The Annenberg Foundation in 1958. Born in 1908, he has enjoyed a distinguished career as publisher, broadcaster, diplomat and philanthropist. He attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and entered the family publishing business in Philadelphia where he became President of Triangle Publications in 1940 and, subsequently, Chairman of the Board. Triangle included TV Guide and Seventeen Magazine, among other publications, as well as radio and TV stations nationwide.
Mr. Annenberg served as Ambassador to Great Britain, from 1968 to 1974. By the late 1980s, having sold all of his publishing enterprises, Mr. Annenberg devoted his attention to philanthropy and public service. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the National Medal of Arts awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Medal of Freedom awarded by President Reagan. The couple's primary residence is in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and they divide their time between Wynnewood and their home in Rancho Mirage, California.
The Annenberg Foundation's contribution adds fresh impetus to the capital campaign, which, as of September 1, 2001, has raised a total of $128,102,000 toward the $200 million goal. Philadelphia Museum of Art Trustees Kathleen C. Sherrerd, Berton E. Korman, and H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest, who are the Co-Chairs of the Campaign, jointly expressed their tremendous gratitude to the Annenbergs: "When we launched the 2001 FUND, we recognized that we were embarking upon the most ambitious capital campaign in the Museum's history. We are overjoyed and honored to bear witness to this spectacular gift from such great friends and supporters of the Museum. We deeply admire Lee and Walter's enlightened philanthropy and hope that their example will encourage others to step forward to help realize our goal, which is today so clearly within our reach."
The fund drive has benefited enormously from the support of the Museum's Board of Trustees, foundations, and other friends and supporters. In December 2000, the Museum announced a $10 million gift from Gerry Lenfest and his wife, Marguerite. Earlier in that year the Museum announced a $15 million contribution by Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman, Chairman of the Museum's Board of Trustees. The total amount now raised for the campaign includes 27 gifts of $1 million or more from individuals and foundations. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made grants totaling $6,375,000. These Mellon Foundation contributions include two challenge grants, to be matched by the Museum, to endow senior conservation positions and create new fellowships in conservation.
Among the vital goals of the campaign is to augment the endowment of the Museum, one of the oldest and most prestigious art museums in the country. The endowment 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. Other goals Ms. d'Harnoncourt has outlined for the Museum's future, include:
- Developing the Museum's "campus"--the main building, the Perelman Building, the Rodin Museum, the Fairmount Park historic houses--and strengthening its relationship to the Parkway, to Fairmount Park and to the City.
- Renovating the Museum's main building to reinstall and create additional galleries for the American Wing, the Asian Collections and for Contemporary Art, while creating new spaces in the Perelman Building to house extensive collections of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Costume and Textiles, modern and contemporary design and the Library and Archives. Both renovations will include expanded space to welcome our visitors and well-equipped facilities for education programs, visiting scholars, students and Museum curatorial staff.
- 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 through interactive, state of the art technologies and direct encounters with original works 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 Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates its 125th anniversary in the year 2001. It is among the largest art museums in the United States, showcasing more than 2,000 years of exceptional human creativity in over 200 galleries installed with masterpieces of painting, sculpture, works on paper, decorative arts and architectural settings from Europe, Asia and the Americas. The striking neoclassical building stands on a nine-acre site above the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and offers many enriching activities-- including programs for children and families, lectures, concerts and films.