Bank of America commits $10 million gift to MFA Boston

Museum of Fine Arts Director Malcolm Rogers, and Anne Finucane, Global Strategy & Marketing, Bank of America, dedicating the Bank of America Plaza on the Avenue of the Arts in Boston.
Museum of Fine Arts Director Malcolm Rogers, and Anne Finucane, Global Strategy & Marketing, Bank of America, dedicating the Bank of America Plaza on the Avenue of the Arts in Boston.
(Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston )

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) has announced a donation of $10 million from Bank of America, making the financial institition the leading corporate donor to the museum. The gift is spilt between $5 million in funding and $5 million in art from the bank's extensive collection.

Ellsworth Kelly's oil painting titled "Blue Green Yellow Orange Red," (1968) a monumental, 22-foot-long abstract work by the acclaimed American contemporary artist, will be among the art gifts. The painting will serve as a focal point in the museum’s Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, which will open in September 2011.

The cash portion will go towards supporting museum exhibitions, programs, operating expenses, and capital improvements, in addition to special events surrounding the November opening of the museum’s new wing for the Art of the Americas and Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard.

The 133,491-square-foot expansion, designed by architects Foster + Partners (London), will add 28 percent more space for exhibiting 5,000 works of art.

Even though the museum's $504 million expansion campaign wrapped up two years ago, setting a record for cultural fund-raising in Boston, the giving still continues. Between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010, the MFA received $57 million in funds and art.

“People like to invest in success,’’ museum director Malcolm Rogers told the Boston Globe.

Since July more than $33.6 million has been added to the MFA's coffers, including generous seven-figure gifts from private collectors such as Simone and Alan Hartman, Peter and Paula Lunder, Frederic and Jean Sharf, and Leonard Lauder, among others. 

Bank of America has given a total of more than $15 million to the MFA. In recognition, the museum has named the plaza in front of its Huntington Avenue entrance the “Bank of America Plaza on the Avenue of the Arts.” The name has been carved into granite plinths near Cyrus Dallin’s bronze sculpture, "Appeal to the Great Spirit" (1909).

Stewards of one of the largest corporate art collections in the world, Bank of America will also be loaning works to the MFA for exhibitions.

The bank's Anne M. Finucane, Global Strategy and Marketing Officer, President Northeast, says, “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."

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