Clark Art Institute Receives $15 Million Gift

The new visitor center at the Clark Art Institute. Photo: Tucker Blair.

The Clark Art Institute of Williamstown, Massachusetts has received a $15 million gift from Felda and Dena Hardymon, a partner at the venture capital firm Bessemer’s, and a trustee of the museum, respectively. The pair have been visiting the Clark together for over two decades.

The Boston Globe reports that the donation is one of the largest in the institution’s history, with the greatest being a $50 million grant and 300 artworks donated by the Manton Foundation in 2007.

The funds will go to support the Clark’s campus expansion program, which includes the expanded 42,600-square-foot Clark Center and newly landscaped grounds that were unveiled in 2014, as well as ongoing renovations to the Manton Research Center (see Art World Report Card: Abstract Expressionists at the New Clark Art Institute).

The Institute’s Board of Trustees recently voted to name the director’s position in recognition of the Hardymons’ gift.

“As wonderful as new and renovated buildings are, in the end the Clark’s international standing is based on the strength of its staff,” said Dena Hardymon. “We’re proud to know that our gift will be perpetually affiliated with those responsible for ensuring that the Clark remains one of the most important arts institutions in the country.”

The Clark, which opened its doors in 1955, is one of the few institutions that simultaneously functions as both a museum and a research center. The museum houses European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography.

It’s been a banner year so far for the Clark, which entered into and won a Super Bowl bet with Seattle Art Museum (see Museums Bet Major Paintings on Super Bowl Win).

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