Gift Given To Museums

In the News

Harvard's art museums are planning to establish a new program to bring special exhibitions to the University, paid for by a major gift expected to be in excess of $180,000, a spokesperson said yesterday.

"We haven't allocated it to any specific exhibits at this time," said Peter L. Walsh of the Harvard University Art Museums. He added that the money will most likely not be put towards any exhibit until next January, when the funds have had time to "accrue income."

The new funds were donated by the International Exhibitions Foundations (IEF), which organizes traveling art shows and special exhibits through America and Europe. IEF announced in 1986 that it could no longer continue to fund exhibits on its own, beyond those it had already planned through 1989. Instead, the IEF trustees decided to allocate its remaining funds to various organizations and museums, Walsh said.

"They had funds that they were giving out to I don't know how many organizations, but we were one of them," he said.

To date, Harvard has received only $150,000, but expects to receive at least $30,000 more in the near future, Walsh said. The musuems will not know the exact amount of the endowment until IEF finishes its liquidation, Walsh said.

The organization did not stipulate how the gift should be used, except to say that it should be spent "in the spirit of the IEF," Walsh said.

"[The foundation] was specifically interested in shows that traveled around the world, though Europe and America, that were serious," Walsh said.

"We tend to do serious, scholarly shows," he said.

Walsh said that the art museums have begun to plan future exhibits along the lines of the Rembrandt show it displayed last December at the Sackler Museum.

Harvard University Art Museums receives no money from the University, and its funds come primarily from alumni gifts or foundation grants, Walsh said.