It’s raining philanthropic money over at the Art Institute of Chicago, which said today that it has received an unrestricted gift of $50 million from Janet and Craig Duchossois and $20 million from Robert and Diane v.S. Levy that is earmarked for operations and acquisitions. Janet Duchossois is a member of the museum’s board of trustees, and Robert Levy is its chair.
“It is an honor to work with trustees whose foresight and generosity will shape the museum’s impact on our community for generations to come,” James Rondeau, the Art Institute’s director, said in a statement. “Gifts such as these allow the museum to look forward with certainty and ambition, serving our city as one of the world’s greatest art museums.”
The Chicago Tribune, which first reported the news, said that the donation from the Duchossoises is the largest publicly announced cash gift in the institution’s history. Such gifts are, indeed, quite rare for any museum. (Other recent gifts of a comparable size include hedge-funder Steve Cohen giving $50 million to the Museum of Modern Art in New York last year, and David Geffen giving $100 million to MoMA in 2016.)
“Craig and I chose to make this unrestricted gift to demonstrate our confidence and support of James Rondeau and the board,” Janet Duchossois said. “We are proud to be partners in their strategy and approach for the museum both today and in the future.”