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Art Museums Receive $2.5 Million Donation

By Alison D. Overholt

Harvard University Art Museums received an anonymous $2.5 million grant to endow a curatorship in photography.

According to an article in yesterday's Gazette, $500,000 of the grant money will go to the Art Museums' drive to endow a photography department acquisitions fund.

Photography is of increasing interest among out students, colleagues and the general public," said James Cuno, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director. "This is a fabulous gift coming at just the right time for us."

The Art Museums have been without a photography curator since Associate Curator of Photographs and Prints Davis Pratt died in 1991.

During his tenure as associate curator, Pratt established Harvard's teaching collection of photographs, which is dominated by the works of Ben Shahn, Diane Arbus, Aaron Siskind, Ansel Adams, 19th century European and American photographers and emerging contemporary photographers.

Because Harvard ha so significant a photography collection, Cuno said that "we are seeking a distinguished leader in the field who wishes to build a program here at Harvard to serve as a great catalyst in an emerging constellation of resources and activities throughout the university. The very generous gift requires nothing less of us," Curo said, according to the Gazette.

The new photography curator should be appointed in time for the 1995-96 academic year.

One of the collection's curators, Deborah Martin, Charles C. Cunningham, Sr., assistant curator of prints for photographs was appointed last spring, following the photography department's move to a new quarters in the Agnes Mongan Center for the study of Prints, Drawings and Photographs.

The first photography exhibit at the Fogg Museum in four years, which featured a select group of works from the collection of Davis Pratt, was mounted last month.

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