The San Diego Museum of Art Receives Largest Bequest In 10 Years
$7.4 million donation to help institution expand permanent collection and community impact
San Diego, – The San Diego Museum of Art announced today the receipt of a $7.4 million bequest from the estate of Donald W. Shira. The proceeds will be used as part of the institution’s multi-year strategy to advance exhibition and education programs, to preserve and expand the 17,000-piece permanent collection, and to support the endowment.
The Museum and its Trustees are honored that Donald Shira, a long-time San Diego resident, was inspired by the Museum to create this legacy, the largest cash gift to the Museum in more than 10 years.
“The Museum is in the midst of dramatically expanding its audiences and impact,” said Frank E. Rogozienski, the Museum’s Board of Trustees President. “This gift will move this process forward substantially – we are thrilled.”
Using funds from the bequest, the Museum has already acquired a remarkable piece of sculpture by Pedro de Mena depicting San Diego de Alcalá. The work was created around 1665 and is now on view near works by great Spanish artists El Greco, Sánchez Cotán, Zubarán, Cano, Murillo and others in the permanent collection of The San Diego Museum of Art.
“The fact that Donald Shira was so moved by his experiences at the Museum has inspired our board and staff,” said Roxana Velasquez, executive director of The San Diego Museum of Art. “To honor Donald Shira, the Board of Trustees recently approved funds for the purchase of this work by Pedro de Mena, one of the world’s best pieces of Spanish Baroque sculpture, to the Permanent Collection furthers our goal of bringing the best art from around the world to San Diego, and accents the works by the Spanish artists that are among the strengths of our collection. We thank Donald Shira for helping us to grow our collection as he has.”
About the San Diego Museum of Art
The San Diego Museum of Art provides a rich and diverse cultural experience for 350,000 visitors annually. Located in the heart of beautiful Balboa Park, the Museum’s nationally renowned collections include Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings, and 19th and 20th century American paintings and sculptures. The Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults. At The San Diego Museum of Art, exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.
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