Solveig Øvstebø, the executive director and chief curator of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, announced today that the Renaissance Society has received three major gifts, from the Edlis Neeson Foundation, the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, and the Zell Family Foundation. The gifts will go toward the museum’s Next Century Fund, a $5 million campaign focused on commissioning contemporary art. These awards, each of which is $500,000, are the largest single donations in the museum’s history, and together total $1.5 million.
The Renaissance Society, founded in 1915 by a group of University of Chicago faculty members, has presented the work of revered contemporary artists for the past century. Currently, with the Next Century fund, the organization is looking to maintain this legacy through more actively engaging with the contemporary artists they work with.
In a statement, Øvstebø said, “Over its history the Renaissance Society has stayed resolutely small and focused, which gives us an incredible freedom and flexibility. My vision of the Ren as an engine for new artistic production allows us to concentrate on the present moment and to engage with artists who are addressing urgent and timely issues. These amazing gifts give us the resources to push the boundaries of art in new and unexpected directions.”