Katonah Museum of Art

Katonah, NY



Katonah Museum of Art: An Endowment For the Future


Athena Kiinball, president of the Katonah Museum of Art, made public in January, 1999 the Museum's $5 million campaign to fund "An Endowment For the Future." She said the endowment, the first in the Museum's history, will ensure the Museum's future and help it meet its ongoing financial needs.

"We want to be able to maintain the high quality of exhibition and educational programs the community now enjoys, as well as provide for the Museum's expanding needs and a truly exciting future," she said. To date, the Museum has raised $2.6 million, primarily from the Museum's Boards of Directors and Overseers, during what fund raisers generally call the "private phase." In the next 12-18 months, the $2.4 million balance is expected to come from corporate and foundation grants, and individual donations from Museum members and the community-at-large.

Future plans call for several blockbuster exhibitions, a film series, an adult education program, expanded services to schools, regular evening hours, and free admission at specified times. Next fall, the Museum will mount an international exhibition of still-life art from Latin America; for the year 2001, it has organized an original exhibition of Edward Hopper's works. In March, an exhibition that reinterprets history through the lens of the African-American experience will open. "Our future is brimming with possibility," comments Susan H. Edwards, the Museum's executive director. "Besides continuing our outstanding service to the community, we are also mindful of staying apace of a rapidly changing environment."

Citing unprecedented growth since 1990, when the Museum moved into its present space - an elegant building designed by noted architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, Dr. Edwards said that annual attendance has grown from 20,000 to 50,000, an increase of 150%. In the same period, professional staff has increased from 6 to 19, participating schools have increased from 80 to 110 and public programming has increased by 50%.

The Katonah Museum of Art was founded in 1953 as the Katonah Gallery, a small, volunteer-run institution dedicated to encouraging the enjoyment, appreciation, and study of the visual arts by people of all ages. In its earliest days, the Gallery was located in a small room over the Katonah Village Library. In the late 1960s, it expanded to include a 1200 square foot gallery, located on the library's ground floor, and a "pocket-sized" sculpture garden just outside the entrance.

By the late 1980s, when the need for expanded space became critical, the Museum launched a $5 million capital campaign to fund the construction of a new home on Route 22, which it occupied in January, 1990. At about the same time, the Gallery was renamed the Katonah Museum of Art and the Museum's first executive director was hired.

From top to bottom: Susan H. Edwards, director of Katonah Museum of Art; Donald Hendrick, chairman of "Endowment for the Future," Athena Kimball, president of Katonah Museum of Art, Susan Edwards, director of Katonah Museum of Art. Photo Linsley Lindekens for Harrison Edwards, Inc.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 9/20/10

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