Cleveland, OH (March 4, 2019) – The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) today announced an extraordinary gift from longtime CMA trustee William Madar and his wife, Amanda. The couple has established the position of William P. and Amanda C. Madar Curator of American Painting and Sculpture through a $3 million permanent endowment fund that will advance the study and appreciation of the CMA’s renowned collection of American painting and sculpture. Such endowments are vital to the museum’s stewardship of its collections and help strengthen its ability to retain and attract top curatorial talent.
“This very generous gift from Bill and Amanda Madar is the latest demonstration of their extraordinary commitment to the CMA,” said William Griswold, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “This gift recognizes the wonderful talents of our curator, Mark Cole, and provides dedicated funding to support new scholarship and our capacity to share the museum’s outstanding collection of American painting and sculpture.”
The museum’s incumbent curator, Mark Cole, is the first William P. and Amanda C. Madar Curator of American Painting and Sculpture. Cole, who has been with the CMA since 2006, completed the reinstallation and reinterpretation of this part of the museum’s collection as part of the institution’s recent renovation and expansion. A selection of notable acquisitions that he has overseen include Edmonia Lewis’s Indian Combat (2011.110), Reginald Marsh’s A Paramount Picture (2006.137) and Norman Lewis’s Alabama (2017.1). Cole has presented several exhibitions, including Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties; William H. Johnson: American Modern; Maine Sublime: Frederic Church’s “Twilight in the Wilderness”; “Stag at Sharkey’s”: George Bellows and the Art of Sports; Brand-New & Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950s; and, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern.
The American holdings at the Cleveland Museum of Art rank among the finest anywhere. With the purchase of its first painting in 1915, John Singleton Copley’s Portrait of Catherine Greene (1915.527), the CMA inaugurated a commitment to collecting the rarest and most significant examples of American art. Since then, the museum has acquired nearly 300 American paintings and approximately 90 sculptures, constituting an excellent survey of the period from 1750 to 1960. Its two greatest core strengths are a superb group of Hudson River school landscapes and a stunning selection of realist paintings from Winslow Homer through the Ashcan school to Edward Hopper. The collection includes such landmarks of American art as William Sidney Mount’s The Power of Music (1991.110), Frederic Edwin Church’s Twilight in the Wilderness (1965.233), Albert Pinkham Ryder’s The Racetrack (Death on a Pale Horse) (1928.8) and George Bellows’s Stag at Sharkey’s (1133.1922).
The department’s holdings also include approximately 100 works by Cleveland artists; this group exemplifies the vital role the museum continues to play within the local art community. In addition, the museum houses a choice collection of American decorative arts, prints, drawings, photographs and textiles, which are under the purview of their respective departments.
“Developing permanent dedicated funding for our curatorial departments is an important initiative called for in our strategic plan,” said John Easley, deputy director and chief philanthropy officer. “Such support is vital to our ongoing ability to share our world-renowned permanent collection. We are truly grateful to Bill and Amanda for their extraordinary leadership and dedication to the CMA.”
The Madars have been involved with the museum for many years. Since 1995, William has been a CMA trustee, having served as the former chair of the Finance Committee and a former member of the Executive and Campaign Committees, among others. Amanda has been an honorary member of the Womens Council since 1996 and is a former Ingalls Library volunteer. The couple contributed generously to the CMA Transformation Campaign, which funded the museum’s historic renovation and expansion project, and an American gallery devoted to northeast Ohio art is named in their honor.
“Amanda and I are delighted to advance the important curatorial work that enhances all of our understanding and enjoyment of the CMA’s remarkable collections of American painting and sculpture, making it more meaningful for the museum’s growing audiences,” said William Madar.
For more information about the museum’s strategic plan, Making Art Matter: A Strategic Framework for Our Second Century, visit ClevelandArt.org/looking-forward-making-art-matter.
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