Knoxville Museum of Art Announces Major Gift

July 19, 2013

July 19, 2013 (Knoxville, TN) — The Knoxville Museum of Art announces a $2.5 million gift from the Aslan Foundation to support the museum’s 25th Anniversary Campaign. The campaign will fund significant renovations and upgrades to the landmark Clayton Building and its grounds, increase the endowment, and create the museum’s first-ever dedicated art acquisition fund.

“This exceptional gift from the Aslan Foundation, by far the largest to date in the campaign, provides a timely boost at a critical point in the project,” says KMA Executive Director David Butler, “and ensures that construction will proceed without interruption. We are confident that this extraordinary commitment will inspire further contributions as we continue to raise the funds needed to complete work on the building and grounds and fulfill other vital campaign goals.”

Museum renovations and upgrades will be completed well before the May 2014 unveiling of Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity. This epic steel-and-glass sculptural masterpiece by internationally acclaimed artist Richard Jolley will be a permanent installation in the museum’s Great Hall. “Thanks to the vision and generosity of the Aslan Foundation, the KMA can continue the work needed to welcome the world to Knoxville” says Butler. “When construction is finished this spring, the building and grounds will better express the importance and quality of the museum’s collection, exhibitions, and programs, and the aspirations of our community.”

Five-hundred thousand of the Aslan Foundation’s $2.5 million gift will be restricted to the museum’s operating endowment, while an additional $500,000 will be reserved for art acquisitions. The art acquisition reserve will honor Rachael Patterson Young, a retired art history professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“Our intent for this gift is to build on the KMA’s artistic success and vision, helping them prepare for even greater achievements in the future,” said Jeffrey Mansour, executive director of the Aslan Foundation. “We are so pleased to support such a vibrant and important community asset while honoring the artistic, educational, and philanthropic legacy of Rachael Young.”

The success of the KMA’s 25th Anniversary Campaign, the first major fundraising campaign since the Clayton Building opened in 1990, will ensure that the museum enters its next quarter century in strong physical, financial, and programmatic shape. More than 50 donors have already committed $2.3 million toward the cost of museum renovations and other campaign goals in addition to the Aslan Foundation gift.

Founded in 1994 by attorney Lindsay Young, the Aslan Foundation is focused on preserving and enhancing the natural beauty, assets, and history of the Knoxville area and enhancing quality of life in the region. The Aslan Foundation has invested in preserving and restoring historic lands and properties, including the recently purchased Westwood property; creating and restoring recreational spaces through initiation of the Trails Forever program with the Friends of the Smokies; and promoting animal welfare through ongoing support of Young-Williams Animal Center. In addition, the Aslan Foundation supports a variety of Knoxville area educational, social welfare and cultural endeavors with grant funding.

The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, enhances Knoxville’s quality of life, and operates responsibly and transparently as a public trust. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park Drive and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission and parking are free.