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Campaign one of the largest for an American Art Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) of Salem, Massachusetts, announced a comprehensive $650 million Campaign designed to advance the museum’s mission to celebrate outstanding artistic and cultural creativity in ways that transform people’s lives. The museum has received gifts and pledges totaling $550 million during the quiet phase of the Campaign initiated in 2006.

The Campaign includes a $350 million addition to the current $280 million endowment, $200 million for a 175,000-square-foot expansion designed by Rick Mather Architects, and $100 million to support creative new installations of the collection, several infrastructure improvements to existing facilities and other advancement initiatives.

The $350 million endowment increase will cover all increased operating and program costs for an expanded facility; support continued development of the museum’s distinctive exhibitions, publications, curatorial and education programs; and enable continuation of a strong financial base.

The expansion will add up to 75,000 square feet of new galleries; a new restaurant and roof garden; new public program and education space; and essential improvements to collections storage, exhibition processing and conservation functions.

Increased gallery space for permanent exhibitions will permit the museum to more effectively present its large and diverse collection – which exceeds 1.8 million works of art and culture – through new installations employing creative interpretive strategies aimed at increasing visitor engagement in art and highlighting connections among artistic and cultural traditions.

The addition of 15,000 square feet of changing exhibition galleries will permit significant growth in that program area. During the past three years, exhibitions organized by PEM have premiered at the museum and then traveled to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museum, Houston, the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Saint Louis Art Museum and other major museums.

The Campaign will also provide structural and other improvements to the museum’s Phillips Library, a singular rare books collection and research center, as well as other infrastructure improvements and capital reserves for all museum facilities.

After completion of the Campaign in 2016, PEM will rank among the top dozen art museums in the nation in terms of gallery space and annual operating budget and top six in terms of total endowment.

Dan L. Monroe, director and CEO, said, “Building on a legacy that extends back to 1799, PEM is committed to celebrating outstanding artistic and cultural creativity in a global context. Our members, patrons, trustees, overseers, staff, and volunteers have made remarkable investments in the power of art to enrich people’s lives and to enhance the world in which we live. We deeply appreciate their dedication and generosity.”

Rick Mather Architects has been selected from among a list of internationally acclaimed architects to design the museum expansion due to the firm’s keen sensitivity to urban context, ability to unite contemporary design with existing structures, and success in integrating art and architecture. Mather’s design will complement the 1977 Dodge Wing and the 2003 Moshe Safdie addition, and highlight Yin Yu Tang, the museum’s unique Qing dynasty Chinese house, and East India Marine Hall, a National Historic Landmark.

The Campaign will provide several hundred construction and other jobs during its course, generate long-term economic benefits to Massachusetts and New England, and add new dimensions to the vibrant artistic and cultural life of Massachusetts and the region.

Chris Reaske, chief philanthropy officer at PEM, credits the museum’s success in the quiet phase of the Campaign to “exceptional teamwork and many committed and extraordinarily generous donors and patrons who have invested in PEM’s singular heritage, record of growth and achievement, and unwavering commitment to excellence and creativity.”

PEM’s Board of Trustees is led by Co-Chairmen Sean Healey, chairman and CEO of Affiliated Managers Group Inc., and Sam Byrne, co-founder and managing partner of CrossHarbor Capital Partners, and Board President Robert Shapiro, partner at the international law firm of Ropes & Gray.

Healey, Byrne and Shapiro stated, “PEM has a mission to make art a vital part of people’s lives. The museum has done this in a global context for two centuries, and with special energy and creativity in recent years. The Campaign will cap two decades of thrilling advancement involving the commitment, generosity and teamwork of everyone in the PEM family. We are very grateful for the support that has launched the Campaign so boldly, and we prize the continued spirit of adventure and discovery that will propel the Campaign to a successful conclusion.”