Rasmuson Foundation Awards $12M to Alaska Museum

January 27, 2016

Rasmuson Foundation has announced the largest grant in its 60-year history: $12 million for a major expansion of the Anchorage Museum, which will be matched by members of the Rasmuson family for a $24 million total gift.

Construction of a new wing is scheduled to begin this year and end by autumn of 2017, Alaska Dispatch News reports.

From the foundation's announcement:

The expansion will add 25,000 square feet — including up to 6,000 square feet devoted to Sydney Laurence, Eustace Ziegler and other Alaska masters — create more permanent gallery space for pieces from the collection currently in storage and increase temporary gallery space to accommodate changing exhibits by internationally renowned and emerging artists.

Funds for the expansion will be paid over four years, and are being matched by members of the Rasmuson family.

“We are thrilled to partner with Rasmuson Foundation on this project,” said Julie Decker, museum director and CEO. “The expansion makes possible the new Art of the North galleries, ensuring greater public access to works the museum holds in the public trust. It also creates dedicated space to highlight our full mission – exploring the art, history, science and culture of the North. The Foundation recognizes that investing in our state’s cultural institutions is an investment in the future of Alaska.“

Alaska Public Radio broadcast an interview with Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation president, about the announcement.