By Stephan Salisbury found at http://www.philly.com
The Barnes Foundation in Merion has received a $5 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help establish a permanent endowment for scholarly studies.
The grant, which must be matched by three dollars for every one dollar, will foster art historical and conservation research at the Barnes, according to Derek Gillman, president and executive director of the museum and school.
The financially challenged Barnes, home of a virtually unparalleled collection of Impressionist and Postimpressionist art, plans to move to a new home on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway sometime in the next few years.
Over the last six years, Gillman said, the Mellon Foundation has supported an assessment of the Barnes collections, enabling the museum to develop a professional staff; to establish advanced systems for cataloguing its holdings, which are now for the first time fully documented; and to launch research initiatives.
Bernard Watson, chair of the Barnes Board of Trustees, said the Mellon gift "will make it possible to establish a permanent endowment in support of activities in the curatorial, conservation, and archival realms."
Watson noted that the Barnes Foundation has already raised $150 million toward a new building in Philadelphia, programs and endowment.
An additional $50 million is being sought to further bolster the endowment.
Contact culture writer Stephan Salisbury at 215-854-5594 or ssalisburyATphillynews.com.