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U-M Museum of Art reaches $35.4 million fundraising goal for historic expansion and restoration project; U-M Regents approve final construction drawings

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---In a major milestone toward realizing a transformative facility expansion and restoration, the University of Michigan Museum of Art has reached its $35.4 million fundraising goal for the project and met the fundraising terms of the prestigious $1.5 million Kresge Foundation challenge grant awarded last year. On this basis and the completion of the project’s final construction drawings, the U-M Regents today approved the project going to bid. The bid process is expected to begin immediately.

The Museum of Art’s capital campaign—part of the University-wide $2.5 billion Michigan Difference campaign—will continue, focused on increasing endowment and on securing additional support for building-related and operational costs.

“Every one of the Museum's friends should relish this moment and look forward to what it will make possible for the University and for our broader community,” said UMMA Director James Steward. “Without the commitment of so many individuals, corporations, and foundations—in particular The Kresge Foundation—and of the University of Michigan, we simply could not have made it to this goal. U-M has long deserved a great art museum facility to go along with the ever increasing stature of its art collections and programs.”

UMMA’s landmark expansion and restoration project—designed by principal architect Brad Cloepfil and his firm Allied Works Architecture of Portland, Oregon—includes a 53,000 square-foot addition to be named The Maxine and Stuart Frankel and The Frankel Family Wing, in honor of the Bloomfield Hills couple who made a $10 million gift to the project. The Frankel Wing will include new galleries for collections and temporary exhibitions; additional art storage facilities; educational spaces including an auditorium, classrooms, and “object study” classrooms; an expanded art conservation lab; improved visitor amenities; and substantial restoration of its current facility. In 2004, the UMMA project won one of four coveted design awards from the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The Kresge Foundation of Troy, Michigan, is a national leader in building institutional capacity in nonprofit organizations. The Kresge Foundation awards highly competitive grants on a challenge basis to assist in completing ambitious capital campaigns for building projects, and pays them only after all other needed campaign funds have been pledged. One important goal of the Kresge challenge grant is to help institutions broaden their traditional base of support by encouraging wider community involvement in securing the institution's future vitality. The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge. It is not affiliated with any corporation or organization.

The Museum of Art’s long-time home—the Beaux-Arts style Alumni Memorial Hall—will close to the public on June 25, 2006 to prepare for construction. From that date through 2008 the Museum will operate a temporary exhibition space a few blocks away, to be called UMMA Off/Site. Located immediately adjacent to the University’s Central Campus at 1301 South University (at the corner of South Forest), this lively loft gallery will present exhibitions devoted to photography, film, and video, as well as offering a Museum shop alongside public programs including tours and special events.

Founded in 1946, UMMA is considered one of the most important university art museums in the country. Its collections of nearly 18,000 works of art in the Western, Asian, and African traditions include works by most of the great masters and represent the key schools and movements in these cultures. Its collections of works by Whistler and Picasso, and of Chinese paintings, Japanese prints, Korean ceramics, and Congolese sculpture are among the finest in North America.