$5 Million Gift Endows Brooklyn Museum Directorship

Arnold Lehman, Shelby White, Stephanie Ingrassia, John S. Tamagni. Photo: Jonathan Dorado.

On May 20 the Brooklyn Museum revealed that it had received a $5 million gift from the Leon Levy Foundation and its founding trustee Shelby White that will go to endow the museum’s directorship, held since 1997 by Arnold Lehman. The gift, the largest the museum has received from a foundation in over 10 years, means that Lehman’s title is now  The Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum.

“I grew up in Brooklyn, and remember taking class trips to the Museum to look at the Egyptian collection,” White said in a statement. “I didn’t realize, until much later, that it was one of the greatest museums in the world.”

The $5 million gift is the largest endowment donation the Brooklyn Museum has ever received from a non-trustee. The foundation is named after investment banker and philanthropist Leon Levy (1925–2003). Shelby White is his widow.

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