Eiteljorg Museum lands $17.1M donation

November 10, 2011

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art has received a $17.1 million gift from donors who wish to remain anonymous.

The museum will put the money, its largest gift ever, toward boosting its endowment and adding an array of interactive features in its galleries.

“We are extremely grateful to the donors for this amazing gift,” said John Vanausdall, president and CEO of the museum. “It strengthens our financial future through support of the endowment, but also enables us to dramatically ramp up our successful efforts to attract new audiences by energizing the museum in bold new ways.”

The Eiteljorg launched its Project New Moon Campaign in 2009 to fund near-term improvements and grow the endowment.

Vanausdall said that with the anonymous gift, the museum has raised $8.7 million toward its goal of $11 million for short-term capital projects and more than $32 million toward the long-term goal of a $50 million endowment.

In a letter to the Eiteljorg's board of directors, the donors said:

“What we are doing with our gifting has been described as extraordinary. It is not that, but it is necessary. We consider this a 'bridge' gift. Imagine our joy at being able to connect the creative giants and genius of the past and present with the unimaginable and unlimited possibilities of the future. It is about stepping inside the massive wood doors and being welcomed to diversity, preservation of a unique American culture, having fun and feeling awe before you leave.”

The gift will support an array of upgrades. A new interactive orientation display will be installed at the main entrance in 2013. The museum will also add interactive stations in its galleries; enclose the east and north terraces for year-round dining and more events in the Allen W. Clowes Sculpture Court; and grow its "Jingle Rails" holiday exhibit. The gift will support outreach to schools and the annual Quest for the West art show and sale, which attracts fine-art collectors from around the country.


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