Brooklyn Museum Receives $5 Million Gift from Leon Levy Foundation
The Leon Levy Foundation, led by Founding Trustee Shelby White, has made a leadership gift of $5 million to the Brooklyn Museum to endow the position of Director. It is the largest endowment gift to the Museum from a non-trustee donor and the largest gift from a foundation in more than a decade. The inaugural position of The Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum will be held by Arnold L. Lehman, who has been Director since 1997.
Announcing the gift, the Chair of the Brooklyn Museum's Board, John S. Tamagni, said, "On behalf of the Board and the Museum staff, I wish to thank Shelby White and the Leon Levy Foundation for this exceptional gift, which is an important step in securing the financial future of the Brooklyn Museum. Reflecting her passion for art, Shelby White's enduring support for the Museum and, indeed, for Brooklyn, exemplifies the ideal of philanthropic leadership."
"I grew up in Brooklyn, and remember taking class trips to the Museum to look at the Egyptian collection," said Ms. White. "I didn't realize, until much later, that it was one of the greatest museums in the world. The Leon Levy Foundation is proud to support the Brooklyn Museum and help ensure its future."
The Brooklyn Museum is one of the largest art museums in the United States, with comprehensive collections that range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary works, representing nearly every culture. It serves one of the most diverse audiences of any art museum in the country as a dynamic and innovative center for learning through the visual arts.
The Museum has developed a broadly based schedule of special exhibitions, from scholarly to popular-culture offerings, encompassing those created by Brooklyn Museum curators as well as touring shows organized elsewhere. It has recently launched its spring season with four critically acclaimed exhibitions with the common theme of activism. They include Ai Weiwei: According to What?, presenting the work by the provocative Chinese conceptual artist and activist;
Chicago in L. A.: Judy Chicago's Early Work, 1963-74, an exhibition of minimalist art that paved the way for the iconic feminist masterwork The Dinner Party, a part of the Museum's permanent collection; Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, honoring artists' participation in the struggle for racial justice; and Swoon: Submerged Motherlands, a site-specific installation addressing environmental issues and created by a renowned Brooklyn street artist.