Busch-Reisinger Gears Up For Capital Fund Drive
Harvard's Busch-Reisinger Museum of Northern and Central European Culture is gearing up for a major capital fund drive, which museum officials hope to launch as early as next spring.
Museum administrators said yesterday they will use funds collected through the drive to pay off the Busch-Reisinger's $82,000 deficit, shore up its endowment, and fund cultural and education programs that the museum cannot now afford.
The University has prevented many affiliated organization from holding capital drives concurrently with the Harvard Campaign. But Harvard approved the Busch-Reisinger's drive because the museum will primarily solicit corporations and German and American collectors, rather than Harvard alumni, administrators said.
A few years ago museum officials set the goal of the drive at $7 million, Dagmar Kohring, the Busch-Reisinger's fund drive coordinator, said last week. But she added that the museum is now hoping to surpass that level.
The $7-million target is "no longer realistic. With inflation, the museum's budget increased over 30 per cent last year alone," Kohring said.
Although the museum's executive committee first conceived of the capital drive six years ago, the Fogg Museum's urgent need for a new building forced the Busch-Reisinger to delay its project, Charles W. Haxthausen, the museum's associate curator, said yesterday.
"It was put on the back burner in a dormant state, while all stops were pulled out for the Fogg," he added.
But while the museum could not formally announce its drive until the Fogg completed funding solicitation, Busch-Reisinger officials have been expanding the museum's constituency and clearing the way for a major campaign.
"We're trying to establish visibility--to take our constituency from the local to the national and international level," Kohring said.
In an attempt to broaden its audience, the museum last year held two major exhibits--one at Washington, D.C.'s National Gallery and one at the Wildenstein Gallery in New York. In addition, the museum is reinstating a series of recitals featuring famous New England musicians playing the Busch-Reisinger's Dutch organ, which will be broadcast nationally by the Public Broadcasting System.
Next year the museum will show a collection of its twentieth century art in the Stadter Art Museum in Frankfurt.
The museum has also approached a number of major collectors of German art as well as German-American multinational corporations. These solicitations have proved highly successful. Kohring said, adding that the museum acquired 12new corporate sponsors within four months.
"So far we've been given 30 per cent more in the first quarter of this year, than in all of last year," she said