Kansas University’s Spencer Museum of Art received a $1.2 million award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Museum officials said they were pleased to receive the recognition.
Saralyn Reece Hardy, museum director, said that $1 million of the award came in the form of a challenge grant. The museum must raise a matching $1 million to receive the full award.
“This program will really create a lasting legacy in my view,” Hardy said.
The money will go toward a new position at the museum that will help establish collaborative efforts between the museum and academic communities at KU.
The new full-time director of academic programs will work with faculty and students to continue existing projects and to develop new opportunities for collaboration, Hardy said.
The Mellon Foundation program for art museums is designed to help university museums undertake serious scholarship on their permanent collections, preserve these collections and share the results of their work with scholarly and other audiences.
The foundation has funded the KU museum four times since 1992. Hardy said the museum has three years to raise the $1 million for the grant.
She said the museum would focus on its long-term relationships with old and new donors to help raise the money.
“I feel very confident in the museum’s community,” she said.
The additional $200,000 from the foundation will allow the university to begin moving to conduct an international search for the position immediately. Hardy said the museum would seek out someone with an abundance of creativity and intelligent energy.
“The potential and possibilities are just limitless,” she said.