Philanthropists Donald and Beth Sobey make an additional gift to support National Gallery of Canada Chief Curator’s Research
Ottawa (Ontario) - May 29, 2009
Donation brings the financial value of their support to the National Gallery of Canada Foundation to more than $2.2 million.
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation is proud to announce that it has received an additional gift from Stellarton, Nova Scotia arts philanthropists Donald and Beth Sobey for The Donald and Beth Sobey Chief Curator’s Research Endowment. This additional gift brings the financial value of their support to the institution to more than $2.2 million. The Endowment was created in 2002 with the objective of giving the National Gallery the opportunity to conduct and publish scholarly research of national and international significance under the guidance of its Chief Curator, Dr. David Franklin.
“It is a great pleasure for Beth and I to extend our commitment to the Chief Curator’s research activities, which play such a key role in advancing the knowledge of art,” said Donald Sobey, a member of the Foundation’s Founding Partners’ Circle and Board of Directors, and the former Chair of the National Gallery’s Board of Trustees. “We are also delighted to express in this way our deep respect for David Franklin’s rigorous and brilliant work.”
An internationally renowned scholar and Italian Renaissance expert who has been with the National Gallery of Canada since 1998, Dr. Franklin has just been awarded the Stella della Solidarietà Italiana (Star of Italian Solidarity) by the Republic of Italy in recognition of his knowledge of Italian art and his contribution to its appreciation in Canada. He is the only Canadian-born resident to receive this award.
“Curatorial research is a fundamental activity for art museums,” noted NGC Director Marc Mayer. “We value the reputation we have built on the national and international stages for stellar scholarship, as exemplified by the award conferred by the Republic of Italy on David Franklin, who we proudly congratulate. We thank Donald and Beth Sobey for their enduring support of this vital area.”
NGC Deputy Director and Chief Curator David Franklin added that it is “a privilege to enjoy such enlightened support, which remains rare and is envied by many of our colleagues in museums around the world.”
The National Gallery of Canada Foundation also applauds the leadership and generosity of these two patrons. “By increasing the capital of The Donald and Beth Sobey Chief Curator’s Research Endowment, this additional gift will enhance our ability to support the National Gallery’s curatorial research and publishing activities as they continue to evolve,” stated Foundation President and CEO Marie Claire Morin. “We are deeply grateful to Donald and Beth Sobey for their foresight and commitment to our mission.”
Since its creation, the Endowment has funded research residencies in Contemporary, European and American Art as well as the publication of Volumes IV and V of the prestigious National Gallery of Canada Review. Over the next year, it will fund a research residency in Indigenous Art.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art in the world. In addition, it has pre-eminent collections of Indigenous, Western and European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, American and Asian Art as well as drawings and photography. Created in 1880, it is among the oldest of Canada’s national, cultural institutions. As part of its mandate to make Canadian art accessible across the country, the NGC has one of the largest touring exhibition programs in the world.
About the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
Established in 1997, the National Gallery of Canada Foundation is dedicated to providing the National Gallery of Canada and its affiliate, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, with the additional financial support needed to preserve and promote Canada's rich visual art heritage and make art accessible and meaningful to Canadians. The blend of private philanthropy and public support is vital to the National Gallery’s ability to carry out its programs and fulfill its unique mandate. The Foundation welcomes immediate and deferred gifts for special projects and endowments.
About Donald R. Sobey
Donald R. Sobey is Chairman Emeritus of Empire Company Limited and Chairman of The Sobey Art Foundation which presents the $50,000 Sobey Art Award annually to an emerging Canadian artist. He has established the D & R Sobey Atlantic Scholarship at Queen’s University. He has occupied several important functions during his distinguished career, including Member of the Advisory Council, Queen's University School of Business, and Chairman of the QE II Foundation. In 2003, he received the Canadian Conference of the Arts Keith Kelly Award for Cultural Leadership, and in 2007, he was inducted into The Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Donald R. Sobey has served two terms as Chair of the National Gallery of Canada’s Board of Trustees - from 2002 to 2008. A member of the Founding Partners’ Circle of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation, he currently serves on the National Gallery of Canada Foundation Board of Directors.
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