Culture | 8:50 pm | December 21, 2011 | By Tapley Stephenson

Donation to fund new exhibition galleries

The renovated Yale University Art Gallery will open in December 2012.
The renovated Yale University Art Gallery will open in December 2012. Photo by Carol Hsin.

With a year before the Old Yale Art Gallery is set to reopen, Yale announced Wednesday that it has received an $11 million donation from Stephen Susman ’62 to fund new exhibition galleries as part of the museum’s ongoing renovation and expansion.

The Stephen Susman Galleries will be on the gallery’s newly created fourth floor, and will house rotating exhibits drawn from the University’s collections, a Wednesday press release said. University President Richard Levin said in the release that Susman’s gift would help continue an already extensive fundraising campaign.

“The Gallery’s 10-year renovation and expansion program has attracted the participation of many loyal and generous supporters, and Steve Susman’s gift comes at a critical time,” Levin said. “With the opening of the expanded facility only a year away, this commitment ensures that the project will be completed and the galleries fully installed in time for our grand opening celebration.”

After the financial crisis of 2008, construction on Yale’s art galleries halted; in the years afterward, all renovations were funded by donations, Vice President for Development Inge Reichenbach said.

Susman has been a member of the Yale University Art Gallery Governing Board since 1998 and made the gift in honor of his 50th Reunion, he said in the release.

“As a Yale student, I became interested in art when I spent time with artist and professor Josef Albers,” Susman said. “My wife Ellen and I have had so much pleasure from collecting contemporary art, and I am proud the Stephen Susman Galleries will serve the thousands of visitors who enjoy this exceptional art museum free of charge.”

Founded in 1832, the Yale University Art Gallery is America’s oldest university art gallery. It will debut its renovations in December 2012.

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