The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts gifts $50 million to the New York City Museum of Art

The New York City Museum of Art has announced the receipt of a $50 million commitment from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, effective as of December 2017. This significant endowment supports an ambitious year-long transformative redesign program to transform the museum into the focal point of a pioneering “art city” in New York City.

Taken together, this new donation represents a total contribution of $100 million to expand the scope of programs and resources supporting visual arts education and programming. The gift will enable the Museum to establish and develop new permanent collection collections, create a robust community engagement program, engage with schools, and foster a new journey for art tourists through the growth of its programmatic offerings.

Leadership and Programming

Beginning in July 2018, the Warhols’ donation will address the Museum’s current and emerging challenges by immediately filling two facilities: 1) the expansion of its first exhibition gallery, The Marilyn Popcorn, which currently contains some of Warhol’s major works from the 1940s and 1950s; and 2) The Andy Warhol Theater, a larger exhibition space located in the newly-renovated Centre for the Performing Arts (CPA) building which the Warhols will inhabit and serve as the new hub for the Museum’s public programs. As part of this significant endowment, The Marilyn Popcorn will be permanently replaced with a new exhibition space, and The Andy Warhol Theater will be completely redesigned and renovated as part of its original construction. Both these projects are intended to create a first-class artistic performing arts center, while also advancing the Museum’s expansion into an expansive, out-of-town art city.

Led by well-respected director Arnold Lehman, as part of a strategic reorganization to expand its expansion plans and long-term programmatic goals, the Foundation established the Art & Business Initiative, an ongoing and comprehensive strategy to accelerate its research and innovation, while developing visionary programs. The Chairperson for the Art & Business Initiative is Kathy Gilbert, founding president of the Fisher Center for New Education Initiatives at the University of California, Berkeley.

Key Findings

• Marking a significant and unique development in the philanthropic realm in New York City, the $50 million in new endowment support enables the New York City Museum of Art to accelerate its strategic transformation to become an expansive, out-of-town art city. This will lead to an expansion of the Museum’s ability to acquire new permanent collection holdings and will allow it to expand and develop the construction of new permanent exhibitions, performances, education programs, and related programs.

• This philanthropic commitment will enable the New York City Museum of Art to realize its goals in expanding its programming as part of a major strategic development and restoration initiative. This ambitious plan, which will align with the Foundation’s commitment to the contemporary practice of design, reimagining the Museum as a cultural center focused on digital and immersive environments, and its commitment to the establishment of an artist-run center, will incorporate the Museum’s vision of curatorial programs in collaboration with the City’s art and technology community.

• The gift will substantially support the Museum’s effort to accelerate its next phase of development by expanding programs and expanding and enhancing the Museum’s physical facilities. In addition to an expansion of the art department, both in terms of permanent collections and program spaces, the New York City Museum of Art will establish a community engagement program, expand its curatorial programs in partnership with New York City-based organizations, and expand in both scale and cultural influence.

• The charitable gift complements the Museum’s current efforts to leverage corporate funding to support its longstanding strategy of strengthening the role of the Museum in furthering New York City’s efforts to create a vibrant, thriving arts city. In 2013, the Museum raised an impressive $50 million in support of its efforts.

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