The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, has been given $16 million by the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, the largest gift in the 77-year history of the institution.
The gift comes as part of a $100 million campaign that involves the construction of a 59,000-square-foot wing designed by architect Lord Norman Foster, which is slated to open on February 9, 2019. That new structure will be named the Kenneth C. Griffin
Building, in honor of the gift.
The museum said that the fund, which was started by the eponymous hedge-fund maven, is also planning to give another $4 million dollar to endow the director position at the museum, bringing its eventual total contribution to a round $20 million. (Griffin is based in Chicago but owns a formidable amount of property in Palm Beach.)
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of this gift to the Norton,” Hope Alswang, the executive director and CEO of the museum, said in a release. Griffin, for his part, said that the expansion “will create a wonderful opportunity for generations of Palm Beach families, students and visitors to learn about and enjoy art.”
The expansion will add 37 percent more exhibition space, which the museum will use for both special exhibitions and to display a larger survey of its permanent collection.
This spring, collectors Howard and Judie Ganek donated over a hundred works from their private collection to the Norton, including pieces by Ed Ruscha, Donald Judd, and Kara Walker.