December 1, 2022

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$12M donation will create dedicated space for women artists at Muskegon Museum of Art

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MUSKEGON, MI – The Muskegon Museum of Artwork will quickly be 1 of the only museums in the earth to have a space committed to artwork created by girls, many thanks to a the latest multimillion-greenback donation from two San Antonio-based mostly art collectors.

The museum has obtained additional than 150 items of artwork donated by collectors Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt, the museum announced final week.

Valued at $10.5 million, the donated collection consists entirely of artwork developed by woman artists, all depicting ladies in a figurative realist design. Bennett and Schmidt also contributed a $1.5 million income reward to support with the museum’s ongoing expansion programs.

The total $12 million gift will position Muskegon as a single of less than 5 museums in the earth that have devoted spaces for artwork by woman artists, in accordance to a museum information launch.

Bennett and Schmidt are the creators of The Bennett Selection, a assortment of figurative realist paintings by women of all ages artists, and the $50,000 Bennett Prize, the premier artwork award in the award made available solely to ladies painters.

The two collectors mentioned their mission is to encourage ladies painters to just take their position amid the most celebrated painters, a group currently dominated by guys.

“From the moment we commenced collecting, we have been anxious that women artists were not staying dealt with similarly with men,” Bennett claimed in a prepared assertion. “They have less demonstrates they have fewer items in museums’ lasting collections and their works have just about universally offered for considerably less than those of men.”

“We have noticed our Collection as a way to proper some of these wrongs and are delighted that the Muskegon Museum of Art is becoming a member of us to ensure that the work continues extensive into the potential.”

Bennett claimed the collection of donated artwork will “catapult” the Muskegon Museum of Artwork into “the forefront of progressive museums that identify the primacy and power of the do the job of gals painters.”

“What has been an exceptionally fantastic assortment will now be augmented with many potent functions by ladies that span the generations,” he stated.

“The people of Muskegon will be the beneficiaries, and their Museum will be in a position to present a significantly broader photo of the contributions that ladies painters have built to our being familiar with of society, heritage and ourselves.”

A survey finished by artwork current market web page ArtNet in 2019 observed that only 11% of artwork obtained in excess of the last decade by the country’s prime museums for their long-lasting collections was by women, in accordance to the museum news release.

The donated assortment incorporates 150 functions of artwork by 115 present-day and historic woman artists, like Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Cassatt, Agnes Martin, Elaine de Kooning, Harmonia Rosales, Julie Bell, Andrea Kowch and Katie O’Hagan, in accordance to the museum.

Kirk Hallman, govt director of the museum, identified as the donation a “transformative and once-in-a-life time present.”

“This gifted artwork adds an entirely new dimension and stability to our already outstanding collection,” Hallman explained in a assertion. “In addition, the Bennett-Schmidt present is a get in touch with to action institutionally, encouraging each the Muskegon Museum of Artwork and other museums to continually expand options for gals artists.”

In addition to the substantial donation of artwork, Bennett and Schmidt donated $1.5 million in funds toward the museum’s ongoing growth project. The enlargement is expected to be concluded in 2024.

The $11.2 million task will much more than double the size of the museum, adding three new rotating galleries, two lecture rooms, a rooftop terrace, museum store, connecting and support place, and a community plaza.

Boston-dependent Ann Beha Architects is the top design and style organization for the enlargement job.

Relevant: Muskegon Museum of Artwork selects architect to make $9.9M expansion a fact

In addition to the $1.5 million contributed by Bennett and Schmidt, the museum has also gained $9.6 million in contributions from other donors given that 1st launching a silent fundraising campaign for the growth in January 2020.

The listing of donations involves $1 million from the Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Basis, $1 million from the city of Muskegon, and $500,000 donations from Carol R. Folkert and relatives, The Hilt Basis, Patrick O’Leary Foundation, Brad & Kathleen Playford, Condition Company, and Mrs. Shaw Walker, in accordance to the museum.

The Muskegon Museum of Artwork homes over 5,000 items of artwork in its assortment, and the enlargement prepare will allow for the museum to exhibit extra of its art at just one time. The museum first opened in 1912.

The museum, situated at 296 W. Webster Ave., is open Tuesday by way of Wednesday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Friday by means of Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission is totally free on Thursdays thanks to The Meijer Basis. On other days, admission is $10 for older people, $8 for seniors, $6 for college students with a college ID, and absolutely free for children beneath age 16.

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