$1 Million Gift Enhances Ringling Museum’s Plans for Asian Art Galleries
SARASOTA, Fla. – March 21, 2008 – Florida State University, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art today announce receiving a $1 million gift from the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation to create an endowment to support Asian art.
In honor of this gift, galleries that were formerly in the Museum’s west wing will be renovated and named in honor of the Chao Foundation. The renovation will be in conjunction with plans for the Dr. Helga Wall Apelt Asian Art Galleries.
The gift has been matched by the State matching program for endowments making its total $1.56 million.
The announcement comes within months of the Ringling Museum receiving more than $6 million of an $8 million pledge from Wall-Apelt to officially start building the new Galleries, design programming and select a curator for the new Asian initiative.
“We are continually fundraising to support the future of the Ringling Museum,” said Executive Director Dr. John Wetenhall. “It is important for our endowment to continue to grow in order for the Museum to maintain a competitive position in the international art and tourism worlds. The Asian initiative is a tremendous opportunity for donors to support the expansion of our cultural mission.”
The Chao gift focuses on the Ira and Nancy Koger Collection of Chinese Ceramics and is designed to ensure these pieces are available to visitors within the Asian Galleries.
The Koger Collection was received in 2002 by the Jacksonville collectors and spans four millennia of Blanc de Chine, porcelain and earthenware. The Koger Collection, as well as other Asian pieces from the Ringling permanent collection, was always to be made part of the Asian Galleries. The Chao Foundation’s gift further enhances those plans.
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