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Newsletter: Director's Note

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December 2014


Stephen Trefonides, The Wedding Breakfast

Stephen Trefonides, The Wedding Breakfast, 1972.
Pastel on paper, 50” x 40”.
Collection Danforth Art. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Bernstein

A Note from the Co-Presidents of the Danforth Art Board of Trustees

On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, Katherine French, and the Staff of Danforth Art, we wish you a healthy, happy, and creative holiday season. Thank you for the many ways you have been part of our art-minded community this year—as students and faculty, as members and exhibiting artists, as donors and friends.

What a year it has been for Danforth Art! At the end of this month, we will mark Katherine French’s retirement as Executive Director. Under her leadership, Danforth Art has become known for its exploration of historical and contemporary expressionism, which has brought attention and prominence to the institution. A lasting legacy will be Katherine’s leadership in the successful purchase of our future home, the Jonathan Maynard Building on the historic green in Framingham Centre. She leaves Danforth Art well-positioned for success with a strong community of supporters, deeply committed Board leadership and a prepared, professional staff, all eager to build upon her considerable successes. In Katherine’s honor, the Board has approved establishment of a special fund, the Katherine French Fund for Curatorial Excellence.

As many of you know, 2015 marks the 40th Anniversary of Danforth Art—forty years of art and art-making, forty years of creativity and community! We are excited to reconnect with and to celebrate our community all year long, to share with you stories from our 40-year history, and to invite you to participate more deeply in our bright future. In 1975, Hedy Landman, first director of Danforth, said, “To enjoy art is to enjoy something beyond the commonplace. It is to reach beyond life’s everyday concerns, broaden the horizon, and refuel the spirit.” Forty years later, we invite you to continue to enjoy something beyond the commonplace.

At this crucial transition time, please consider a gift which will make a real difference—not just now, but for our future. A year-end, tax-deductible contribution to our Annual Fund will be an investment in one of New England’s most engaging museums and art schools. If you would like your donation ear-marked for the Katherine French Fund, please let us know.

Thank you and happy holidays.

Sincerely,

Mimi Macksoud and Richard Perse
Co-Chairs, Danforth Art Board of Trustees

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Director's Note - November 2014


A Matter of Taste 2014

Hundreds gathered to enjoy fine wine and fine art at A Matter of Taste on November 1.


As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we are particularly grateful to the generous individuals who attended A Matter of Taste, Danforth Art’s annual wine tasting benefit this past Saturday. Thanks to them and lead sponsor Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation and other individual and corporate supporters, it was a truly successful event, and all enjoyed a wonderful evening that brought our community together.

Frequent visitors know that Danforth Art provides a special home for Boston Expressionism—and art lovers who come to enjoy their work. This was clearly demonstrated last Sunday when author Jean Gibran read from her book Love Made Visible which portrayed the vibrancy Boston’s art scene world in 1940s and the role played by her late husband Kahlil Gibran. Another fascinating glimpse into this world will take place this Sunday, November 9 at 1pm when Boston Expressionist artist Arthur Polonsky and filmmaker son Gabriel Polonsky will screen sample footage from the upcoming documentary on Arthur Polonsky entitled Release from Reason. And for those wishing to see newly acquired works in Danforth Art’s permanent collection are especially invited to attend our Members Opening Reception for our new winter exhibition Facial Expressions on Saturday, November 22 from 6–8pm. Danforth Art members will receive an invitation via Eventbrite this week, and non-members are encouraged to join today to be part of this winter’s celebration.

Finally, please consider making a donation to our Annual Fund in what is now our 40th Anniversary Year. Your tax deductible contributions will not only support ambitious exhibitions and strong educational programs, but will also build a strong foundation for the future. Please give as generously as possible! Looking back, we thank you for your engagement and support, and wish you all the very best for the upcoming holiday season.

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Executive Director
Danforth Art, Museum\School

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Director's Note - October 2014


Looking to the future


This past month has been filled with activity, with many visitors coming into the galleries as the result of three reviews for the current exhibitions. Although I will be officially stepping down as Executive Director on January 1, 2015, I look forward to continuing to help the Museum shape its collection of Boston Expressionist works, an area of exploration that helped lay a foundation for growth here at Danforth Art.

Once again, we are pleased to report financial success at the end of our fiscal year. Despite economic uncertainty a few years back, Danforth Art has realized an increase in contributions, as well as museum attendance and membership. In fact, we have realized overall growth of 10% annually over the past ten years. Nearly $75,000 in grant funding will help us plan for eventual relocation to our newly purchased building on the historic green in Framingham Centre. I can leave confident in our ability to envision a future in our new home.

To celebrate all that we have accomplished, please join us to for our Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening, October 14 at 7 pm. No matter how long or short a time you have been involved at Danforth Art, you will enjoy the opportunity to learn more about our confidence in an organization that can truly engage, inspire and transform the lives of both children and adults.

Finally, almost immediately following our Annual Meeting, please join us to celebrate at A Matter of Taste, our annual wine-tasting fundraiser to be held on Saturday evening, November 1. A Matter of Taste promotes the notion that taste is personal, whether one is looking at art or tasting wine. Enjoy great exhibitions showcasing Boston Expressionist work in our permanent and contemporary photography by Brian Kaplan and Sarah Pollman while sampling a selection of wines from around the world. Your support of this event funds new exhibitions, creates studio art classes, provides scholarships of deserving students and helps navigate our way to a new home. Purchase your tickets today. We hope to see you soon.

Katherine French, Executive Director
Danforth Art, Museum\School

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Director's Note - August 2014


Katherine French, speaking on Rhoda Rosenberg: The Shape of Memory, January 9, 2011. Photo: Bror Hultgren

Dear Danforth Art Community-

During our closure for the month of August, one might mistakenly believe that it would be a quiet time for Danforth Art. Instead, we are enjoying heightened activity. Summer classes and workshops are in full swing, artists stop by to pick up work from our Annual Juried Shows, and last night our Board of Trustees met to view and approve major gifts of art recently donated to our permanent collection. Trustees also began an important conversation about Danforth Art’s future after my official announcement to retire on January 1, 2015.

It is with a measure of sadness that I announce what is a personal decision. My past 10 years at Danforth Art have been satisfying and rewarding, but I leave knowing the institution is well-positioned for success having enjoyed a steady operational growth of 10% each year over the past 10 years. A friend once remarked that this was for me the job of a lifetime, and I have to admit that he was right. I’ve met wonderful people, enjoyed remarkable opportunities to work with renowned artists to curate shows, and was ultimately able to resolve Danforth Arts facility needs through successful negotiation and purchase of the Jonathan Maynard Building located on Framingham Centre’s historic green.   

I would now like to take this opportunity to offer profound thanks to Trustees, Staff, Museum Members, and Volunteers who’ve been so supportive of my efforts. This is a great community of artists and art lovers, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with Danforth Art as very active member of this special community—and occasionally as guest curator.

I look forward to seeing all of you for the opening of new fall exhibitions this September 13. Until then, warmest regards and all best wishes.

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE (PDF)

Sincerely,
Katherine French, Executive Director

RELATED ARTICLES:

Framingham: Danforth Art Museum director resigning
By Chris Bergeron, The MetroWest Daily News, August 6, 2014

Katherine French is leaving Danforth Art
By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein, The Boston Globe, August 6, 2014

Katherine French, Who Revitalized Danforth Art Museum, To Retire
By Greg Cook, WBUR The Artery, August 5, 2014

Danforth's French to retire
By Michael Novinson, Worcester Business Journal, August 5, 2014

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Director's Note - July 2014


Patron's Preview

L to R: Tom Fitzgerald, Margaret Boles Fitzgerald, Director Katherine French, Trustees Marc Plonskier and Richard Perse

Danforth Art—A Good Investment

Dear Danforth Art Community,
In anticipation of Independence Day fireworks, we encourage you to visit Danforth Art and be enlivened by the bursts of color and dynamic lines currently on view in our annual juried exhibitions. Our spirit of celebration abounds following the social and fundraising success of our June Over the Moon events, in support of The Deborah D. Blumer Fund for educational programming at Danforth Art. We are grateful to all whose support fostered a lively celebration of art by emerging and established member artists including over 500 guests, generous Patron sponsors, exhibiting artists, Trustees, and lifelong friends of Danforth Art. A reminder that most of the art on exhibit is available for purchase. View our online catalogs or stop by to discover art that inspires you in over 225 works on view, and show your support of Danforth Art’s emerging and established artist members. A portion of proceeds from art sales benefits Danforth Art.

While it has been a month of celebration, June was also a time of sadness. We mourn the passing of two long-time friends of Danforth Art—Albert Leon "Bud" Lemay a longtime resident of Framingham who was one of our founding members and Charles Ayer, a former political reporter at the Metrowest Daily News. As a good friend of the late artist David Ratner, Charlie was one of the first people I met when I arrived in Framingham nearly ten years ago—and the very first to make a donation in support creating elevator access into the Museum. “I figure this is a good investment,” he said handing me his check.

Charlie would be pleased to know that others like him have seen and continue to see Danforth Art as a good investment. Since 2005, increasing numbers have purchased Museum Memberships or enrolled in Studio Art Classes, and have made contributions that have allowed Danforth Art to steadily grow operations over the years. With ambitious budget goals set for this fiscal year, we have increased the funding received through individual donations more within FY14 than at any other time in our organization’s history. 

Various charitable foundations have also expressed similar confidence. Within just the past few months, we’ve received foundation grants totaling more than $100,000. These include funding from a number of family foundations; a $30,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund for multi-faceted planning studies to inform space, business, and fundraising efforts for renovation of the historic Jonathan Maynard building; a $20,000 grant from Middlesex Savings Bank along with $24,500 from the Sudbury Foundation will also be used for Maynard Building planning. 

As we approach the end of our fiscal year on August 31st, please join others at a time when your support can make a real difference. Art not only sustains our economy, it also helps us grow as a culture. Here at Danforth Art we seek to educate, renew, and inspire. We invite you to make a worthwhile investment in this not only for yourself, but also for future generations to come. 

Make A Donation Now—we are grateful for your support!

On a final note, we would like to congratulate Paul Rosenberg, a founding member of Danforth Art and our current Board President, on being awarded the Boston Business Journal’s 2014 CFO Lifetime Achievement Award. For 40 years, Paul has worked tirelessly on our behalf; we celebrate with him this recognition by his colleagues.

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Executive Director
Danforth Art, Museum\School

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Director's Note - June 2014


Julia Talcott, Log

Julia Talcott, Log, Linocut with collage, 24" x 74"
2014 First Place prize, Off the Wall.

Summer has always been a time of increased activity and this year promises to be no different. Increasing numbers of studio art students are calling to enroll for summer classes, museum visitors arrive to renew or purchase new memberships, and the Museum itself is visibly transformed as we prepare to officially open annual juried shows Off the Wall and Community of Artists on Sunday, June 8th.  All work on display has been created by member artists, and most is for sale, making Danforth Art a venue not only for historically important exhibits, but also for new and exciting art.

Debora Baronas

Deborah Baronas, Into the Shade, Installation IV, Fabric dye on linen, pastel and charcoal on paper. Site specific. 2014 Third prize winner Off the Wall.

This year we were proud to welcome Jennifer Gross as guest juror, who recently returned to the Boston area as the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park’s new curator. Gross joins a growing number of esteemed colleagues who have juried past Off the Wall shows, including Museum of Fine Art’s Jen Mergel, Institute of Contemporary Art’s Helen Molesworth, Worcester Art Museum’s Susan Stoops, Mass Art’s Lisa Tung and numerous others. Willingness on the part of renowned curators to participate in our juried shows clearly demonstrates the engagement of museum professionals in Danforth Art as a unique home for artists. In fact, more than one third of Danforth Art’s current membership define themselves as artists, demonstrating that we not only cultivate an audience engaged by looking at art—we also cultivate an audience engaged in making art.

Please make Danforth Art a part of our life this summer. Visit the Museum and attend a gallery talk or docent led tour. Take a class in our Museum School and discover new ways to see the world. Or, make a donation in support of all that we do (link to donate now). You will find that you become part of a dynamic conversation that will enrich your life in unexpected ways. We hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,


Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art, Museum\School

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Director's Note - May 2014


Ilana Manolson

Ilana Manolson, Jim's Garden, Oil oanvas. Courtesy of the artist. Featured in Community of Artists.

May is an exciting month for Danforth Art. Like many, we’re pleased to see new growth with plants coming into bloom after a long winter. But May is also Museum Membership Month and each year we’re gratified to welcome the growing numbers who visit our galleries or enroll for studio art classes. Work by member artists selected for Danforth Art’s upcoming Annual Juried Exhibitions Off the Wall and Community of Artists, as well as our Juried Student Exhibition, proves that we don’t need look any further than our own back yard to discover some of the very best contemporary work available anywhere. It is right here.

While many other museums choose a national or even global focus, Danforth Art remains committed to art of this region. Annual Juried Exhibitions not only describe the engagement of member artists, but also on that of museum curators. A short list of past jurors for Off the Wall includes Nick Capasso (Fitchburg); Helen Molesworth (ICA); Jen Mergel (MFA); Lisa Tung (MassArt); Susan Stoops (WAM) and this year’s Jennifer Gross from the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. We’ve also attracted the attention of collectors who purchase work that goes on to find homes in private collectors or in other museums. An exciting conversation starts here.

Become part of this vital conversation by investing in the future of one of New England’s fastest growing art museums. Join or increase your Danforth Art Membership today. Make a contribution to our Annual Fund or call 508-620-0050, ext. 10 to see how you might support or participate in Over the Moon. Your engagement and support is significant and much appreciated. We look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art, Museum\School 

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Director's Note - April 2014


Imber Williams

Images L to R: Jon Imber, Portrait of Philip Guston in a Green Coat (detail), 1981. Oil oanvas. Collection, Danforth Art; Stuart H. Williams, Untitled (detail), n.d., Marker, ink, and pencil on paper. Courtesy of the Estate of Stuart H. Williams. Boston.

April is a busy month—a promise of better weather brings a growing number of visitors, perhaps encouraged by Boston Globe critic Sebastian Smee’s review of our current spring exhibitions. However, we are also aware of increased activity in Washington and on Beacon Hill as legislators prepare federal and state budgets for consideration—consideration that might potentially affect what we are able to do here at Danforth Art.
 
As long time readers are aware, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) helped support educational programming for the John Wilson show last winter and numerous other exhibitions. Coming up this summer we’ll be able to carry out a collections survey with a team from the Williamstown Conservation Center thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Closer to home, operational support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), as well as two MCC Cultural Facilities grants that helped prepare for our eventual purchase of the Jonathan Maynard Building. We’re therefore closely watching budget debates that might affect Danforth Art. If you believe that art has the ability to transform lives, we urge you to contact your representatives on Capitol Hill or in the Massachusetts legislature—and thank you in advance for engagement in this important process.
 
Finally, we’re very excited about plans for spring and summer. Funding from the Framingham Union Aid will support our Art and Healing Program. Last year more than 1,000 visitors came to enjoy tours and hands-on activities focused on work in our Annual Juried Exhibitions, which showcase Danforth Art artist members who comprise more than one third of our current membership. 

Join us in supporting these talented member artists. Off the Wall and Community of Artists officially open with a free Open House on Sunday, June 8. Support Danforth Art as an individual or corporate sponsor and receive an invitation to the Over the Moon Patron’s Preview on Thursday, June 5th or the Artist Gala on Saturday, June 7th when you will get to meet the artists and even purchase some of their work. Artists are central to what we do here at Danforth Art.  They display work in exhibitions, as well as teach or take classes in our Museum School. For more information about how to participate in Over the Moon activities, see danforthart.org/overthemoon14.html. We look forward to seeing you soon. 
 
With all best regards and best wishes for spring,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art

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Director's Note - March 2014


Jon Imber

Jon Imber, Armillary, 1997. Oil on canvas.
Courtesy of the Artist and Alpha Gallery, Boston.

Bearing Witness: Art As Experience

Art can be a forceful means of expression. Here at Danforth Art, we’re now preparing to open new spring shows in which artists explore the act of creation as a metaphor for healing and self-discovery. These shows are an intrinsic part of our Art and Healing Program, in which we partner with area health care providers to provide museum access, tours, and studio art classes to patients and their families.
 
Many are already acquainted with artists Robert Ferrandini and Jon Imber, two painters whose determination to keep painting despite physical limitation is as inspirational as the work. Matt Brackett found that illness revealed mysterious visual symbols.  Wilber Blair uses memory to conjure images of his early encounters with art. Work by Stuart Williams demonstrates a unique way of seeing. Artists Michael David and Michael Mazur both stood witness and allow viewers to empathize with what they may not experience, but may come to know.

Visitors to Danforth Art’s Children’s Gallery will be moved by another kind of experience. Pop-Up Shape & Color! featurespaper-engineered books from the Ellie G. Levine Movable Book Collection, which showcases the book as art by displaying techniques from the 14th century to the present. Folds, flaps and opportunities to touch some of the books will bring the work of artists and illustrators to life. 

Visits to Danforth Art engage, inspire and transform lives. Please take an opportunity to experience all that we have to offer with new spring shows and related programs. We hope to see you soon!

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art, Museum\School

Note: Members are invited to meet the artists at a special Members/VIP Reception for new spring shows on Saturday evening, March 8 from 6–8pm. Members who have not yet registered through Eventbrite (An email invitation with a link to Eventbrite registration was sent last week—check your email’s spam folder!) may R.S.V.P. at (508) 620-0050 ext 42. Invitations to our Opening Reception are a special benefit of Danforth Art membership. Family memberships admit two persons; individual memberships are good for one entry. Exhibitions officially open to the public on Sunday, March 9 at 12 noon.

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Director's Note - February 2014


Jonathan Maynard Building on historic green in Framingham Centre.

New Home for Danforth Art

We did it. Danforth Art has purchased a beautiful building on the historic green in Framingham Centre, not only realizing a solution to its long standing facility needs, but also increasing opportunities to bring Museum and School closer together. We’ll create new classes, tours and free open hours for the immediate community—and begin work on transitioning to our new home with help from our new Director of Development Cynthia Kouré. We are pleased and excited about what will be important next steps and look forward to sharing them.

It’s early days yet. Framingham State University will be in residence at the Maynard Building for a few more years, but Danforth Art’s education staff is enthusiastic about new programs we’ll be able to offer once we’ve moved into our new space. Thanks to support from Bernardi Auto Group, visitors can get a taste of what we’re talking about during a special President’s Family Day on Monday, February 17thand recent grant funding from the TJX Charitable Foundation will provide need-based scholarships for students in our studio art classes. And programs like Art and Healing will expand.   

During the month of February, curatorial staff will finalize exhibitions in support of our Art and Healing Program with shows of work by artists Wilber Blair, Matt Brackett, Michael David, Jon Imber, Stuart Williams and others. Thanks to funding from Framingham Union Aid Society and the Laura Riegelhaupt Scholarship Fund, we’ve been able to create exhibitions that explore art and healing process, as well as provide memberships and scholarships for studio art classes for patients undergoing treatment for a variety of illness.    

Danforth Art members will enjoy a special opportunity to preview these shows during our Members Only Reception on Saturday, March 8th, but additional festivities are being planned to toast past and future success with a combined Over the Moon/Off the Wall Gala on Saturday, June 7th when our public will be invited to experience a true collaboration between Museum and School—something you’ll see more often in the years to come. 

Hope to see you there!

All best regards,   

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art, Museum\School

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Director's Note - January 2014


Director's Note January 2014

L to R: Winfred Rembert, Artist; Katherine French, Danforth Art Executive Director; Adam Adelson, Director of Adelson Galleries Boston; and Warren Adelson, President of Adelson Galleries.

Grateful Celebration

We begin this new year in grateful celebration. Approaching purchase of the beautiful building that will become our new home, we’ve seen overwhelming support from the nearly 400 members and friends who have contributed nearly $400,000 to our Annual Fund since the start of our fiscal year last September. Because of a $150,000 Challenge Grant, gifts made during the month of December were twice as effective in helping to support our ambitious plans for the coming year. This kind of active engagement and support is both much needed and much appreciated. We thank you!

We’re also grateful for support that comes in other ways. A $10,000 grant from the Foundation for Metrowest will allow us to create access to on-line exhibitions and educational materials on our website. Funding from the 200 Foundation, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation and the Framingham Cultural Council will provide educational programming and free admission during select hours for our current exhibition Winfred Rembert: Beyond Memory. Long-time supporter Bernardi Auto Group has underwritten special programs and provided free admission for our MLK Family Day on January 20 and for Presidents’ Day Family Day on February 17. In addition, a grant from Bernardi Acura of Boston furthers literacy efforts through exhibitions in our Children’s Gallery.

Generous support from individuals, foundations and corporate partners ensures continued growth at a significant time. Your contributions are truly an investment in an organization that looks forward to a bright future. If you have not yet had an opportunity to support Danforth Art, please consider doing so now. Whether in our galleries or studio classrooms, Danforth Art creates opportunities for a dynamic experience. Your support is vital. Thank you and Happy New Year!

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art, Museum\School

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Director's Note - December 2013


Winfred Rembert

Winfred Rembert, Picking Cotton / Colors, 2010
Dye on carved and tooled leather. Courtesy of Adelson Galleries Boston.

Flurry of Activity

Hopefully snow is still a long way off, but we’ve been pleased to realize a flurry of activity as visitors arrive to see new winter shows, students register for studio art classes, and increasing numbers purchase memberships or copies of our featured children’s book The Perfect Gift. We have never been busier, and anticipate that this activity will only increase as we work to realize purchase of a new building. We are delighted by all that we accomplished in the past year—and by the support our accomplishments have inspired.    

Once again we are delighted to report that recent events have motivated another challenge pledge to help increase capacity at a critical time. Between now and January 31st, up to $150,000 of all contributions to our Annual Appeal will be matched 1:1, which makes your gifts doubly significant. Contributions of $100 will grow to become $200; $500 will grow to become $1,000; and so forth. Your participation not only ensures we’ll be able to continue realizing great exhibits and educational programs, it also builds a strong foundation for growth as we make plans to relocate to a new home.   

Please consider a gift at a time when your donation will make a real difference—not just now, but for our future. A year-end, tax-deductible contribution to our Annual Fund will not only ensure our ability to continue bringing you great exhibits and programs, but will also be an investment in what can become one of New England’s great museums and art schools. Place us in the center of a strong community by making a donation today. Thank you and happy holidays. 

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art Museum\School

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Director's Note - November 2013


A Matter of Taste

Danforth Art Trustee Paul Rosenberg, left, Executive Director Katherine French, center, and Sherry Long of Wayland enjoy the "A Matter of Taste" fundraiser at Danforth Art. Image Credit: MetroWest Daily News \ Sean Browne

Sharing the gift of art

Leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, we are particularly grateful to the 200 generous individuals who attended A Matter of Taste, Danforth Art’s annual wine-tasting benefit. Thanks to them, and corporate supporters like Bernardi Auto Group, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, TJ Maxx, and numerous others, Danforth Art raised nearly $35,000 to fund exhibitions and educational programs—and enjoyed a wonderful opportunity to bring our community together.

Frequent visitors know that Danforth Art provides a special home for artists—and art lovers who come to enjoy their work. This will be particularly apparent at the Members Only Reception for new winter exhibitions on Saturday, November 16 from 6-8pm. In addition to a retrospective of work by painter Barbara Swan, we will also feature contemporary works by Winfred Rembert and Merill Comeau, artists who explore non-traditional materials to create unique pieces that challenge how we view the use of fabric and leather. Both artists will be available at Saturday’s reception to speak on their work. Please join us, Members can register here with the password DANFORTHART.

Those with young families, or friends of our youngest visitors, may be especially interested in the work of Dara Goldman, a teacher in the Danforth Art School, whose original art for her just-published book will be on display in our Children’s Gallery. Danforth Art is a wonderful place to discover The Perfect Gift this holiday season—a copy of Dara Goldman’s book, a Danforth Art Family Membership, a DVD movie about exhibiting artist Winfred Rembert, and more.

Please also consider making a donation to our Annual Fund as we approach the end of this calendar year. Your year-end, tax-deductible contribution not only supports ambitious exhibitions and strong educational programs, but also builds a solid foundation for a future home. Please give as generously as possible at this critical time. We thank you for your engagement and support, and wish you all the very best for the upcoming holiday season.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art Museum\School

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Director's Note - October 2013


Porfirio Opening

Left to Right: Development Associate Gabrielle McKenzie, Carolyn Waterman, Danforth Art Trustee Sturdy Waterman enjoying the opening reception for Porfirio DiDonna: A Painter’s Journey.

Fall has always been a time of increased activity at Danforth Art and this year is no exception. This Thursday, October 3 at 6:30pm we begin our Professional Artists Series with a free networking evening with special guests Liz Devlin and Francine Koslow Miller. On Sunday, October 6, we welcome children and their families for free interactive, hands-on activities as part of our First Sunday Drop Into Art program. New England Photography Biennial juror Francine Weiss will present a special curatorial talk next Wednesday, October 9 at 12:30pm. Finally, we are very much looking forward to a special event celebrating the publication of Porfirio DiDonna The Shape of Knowing on Sunday, October 20, at 3pm. Author and co-curator John Baker will read from his new book host a conversation with poet, essayist, and publisher William Corbett, followed by a book signing the gallery featuring DiDonna’s work. Reservations for this event are recommended.

We continue to be excited about our collaboration with the Town of Framingham on the purchase of the Jonathan Maynard Building located on the historic green in Framingham Center. We are making great progress with plans to completely relocate by 2016 and are pleased by evidence of growing support. To learn more about our visionary plans, as well as exciting new programs, we please join us to for our Annual Meeting on Monday, October 28 at 7:30pm. No matter how long or short a time you have been involved at Danforth Art, you will enjoy the opportunity to learn more about an organization that can truly engage, inspire, and transform the lives of both children and adults.

Almost immediately following our Annual Meeting, please join us to celebrate at A Matter of Taste, our yearly wine-tasting benefit event to be held on Saturday, November 2 at 7pm. Enjoy great contemporary art while sampling a selection of wines from around the world, paired with specially selected foods. Your participation in this event helps fund new exhibits, create studio art classes, provide scholarships of deserving students, and will eventually help us move into our new home. Click here for tickets and more info. We hope to see you soon.

Katherine French,
Executive Director

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Director's Note - September 2013


New England Photography Biennial artist Rick Ashley discusses
his work at Danforth Art's Fall Open House.

Where were you last Sunday afternoon? Enjoying a final beach day of the season, picking up last minute back-to-school supplies, or resting at home with a good book? Maybe you were among the hundreds of visitors to Danforth Art’s Fall Open House sponsored by Mutual One Bank. For the 9th year, Danforth Art reopened after August break for free art activities in museum galleries, demonstrations in the school and spotlight talks by exhibiting photographers Rick Ashley and Ashley Wood, who spoke on their work in the New England Photography Biennial curated by Francine Weiss. Also on view will be new exhibitions of work by Porfirio DiDonna, Ellen Wineberg and Cree Bruins.

Visitors who enjoyed talks and demonstrations might consider enrolling in one of over 100 workshops and classes now on offer. Or, return for our series of fall Gallery Talks, beginning on Sunday, September 22 at 3pm with exhibiting artist Ellen Wineberg. Or, become a member or renew membership to attend our special Members Only Reception on Saturday, September 21 from 6-8pm. There is wealth of fall programming to entertain art-lover, artists, and art-learners alike.         

Likewise, there is a wealth of generous donors, who responded to Danforth Art’s Summer Annual Appealmany as first-time supporters. Thanks to the Danforth Art community and our network of longtime friends, we met a $200,000 Challenge Match! We are grateful for the charitable support of so many in such a crucial year and look forward to success in the year to come. Many thanks. We hope to see you all soon. 

All best regards,
Katherine French, Executive Director 

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Director's Note - August 2013


L to R: Robin Myers, Tile on Photogram of the Average Color of the Universe (detail), 2012, archival pigment print, 38" x 30.5".
Amy Ragus, In love with you (Walden Pond) (detail), 2012, photo collage, 40" x 40"

Successful summer inspires fall

As many readers know, I recently returned from vacation but was very pleased to return to find that Danforth Art remained a vibrant center of artistic activity even during summer's hottest days. Annual juried shows Off the Wall and Community of Artists attracted both critical attention and a growing audience, and on July 19 we welcomed more than one thousand visitors as part of Highland Street Foundation's Free Fun Friday program. Our Teen Docent Program and Art Classes were in full swing, and preparations for finalizing purchase of a municipally owned building had progressed. Working together with the Town of Framingham, Danforth Art looks forward to closing on the sale of a building located on the historic green in Framingham Centre sometime this fall. Much is happening and we look forward to providing updates on this exciting opportunity for growth in the coming months.

Most exciting was to learn of the growing response to our $200,000 Challenge Pledge, which kick-started our 2013 Summer Annual Fund Campaign. Thanks to the collective vision of a small group of Trustees, all contributions made to our Annual Appeal before August 31 will be applied to meet this 1:1 challenge match and we encourage as many as possible to make a donation at this crucial time. Gifts made now are doubly significant; $500 gifts to grow into $1,000, $2,500 to grow into $5,000 and beyond. Contributions of any amount make a crucial difference and are greatly appreciated.

Your support makes it possible for us to do what we do and do it well. During the month of August, we are closed for installation of new fall shows, but we look forward to reopening with our Fall Open House on Sunday, September 8. Thanks to generous sponsorship from Mutual One Bank, all visitors will be admitted for free to view works by Porfirio DiDonna, Ellen Wineberg, and Cree Bruins, as well as the more than 44 photographers whose work was selected for the New England Photography Biennial, curated by the Photographic Resource Center's Francine Weiss.  
 
Whether you are an artist or an art lover, we invite you to become engaged at Danforth Art during a time of growth and possibility. Browse our website to plan your visit this fall, enroll in a class, or make a donation that will move us closer to our new home. We look forward to seeing you for our reopening on September 8, and many more times during the coming year.
 
 
Katherine French
Executive Director

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Director's Note - June 2013


Daniel Feldman, Instrument
Daniel Feldman, Instrument, 2013, archival pigment print,
32” x 41”; 34.5” x 43.5” print. Included in Community of Artists.

Constructive Activity at Danforth Art

Summer opened with a flurry of constructive activity. Thanks to a recent article in the Boston Globe making note of Danforth Art’s new name, new logo and new building, increasing numbers of studio art students enrolled for summer classes, museum visitors chose to renew or purchase new memberships, and the Museum itself was visibly transformed by the opening of three new shows. Off the Wall, Community of Artists and Picture This, Danforth Art’s annual juried shows, showcase 310 of works by 278 artists, selected from more 1,500 entries.      

Thanks to support from Bernardi Auto Group, Page Waterman Gallery, the NAN Award and a growing number of individual supporters, Danforth Art was able to host a special Patrons Preview on Saturday, June 8. Attended by more than 450 artists, curators and collectors, the evening was an overwhelming success. A number of works were sold or entered consideration for future purchase—a response that is reflective of the art community’s high regard for selections made by the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park’s curator Dina Deitsch who served as this year’s juror, as well as Danforth Art’s ability to showcase completely unique works by member artists. In fact, more than one third of current members at the Danforth define themselves as artists, demonstrating that we not only cultivate an audience engaged by looking at art—we also cultivate an audience engaged in making art.

As many know, our bid to purchase a municipally owned building was recently approved at Town Meeting. Located on the historic green in Framingham Centre, the Maynard Building represents an exciting opportunity for Danforth Art. Plans are beginning to take shape and will be shared with our wider community shortly. In the meanwhile, whether you are an artist or an art lover, please become engaged at the Danforth during this a time of growth and possibility. Visit the Museum, enroll in a class or make a donation that will move us closer to our new home. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,Katherine French
Director, Danforth Art

Related Media

With its new building, Danforth will link artwork with education
By Nancy Shohet West, The Boston Globe, June 6, 2013

View Off the Wall Exhibition Catalog (PDF)

View Community of Artists Exhibition Catalog (PDF)

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Director's Note - May 2013


Wilson Hunt, Jr
 Wilson Hunt Jr., Sepia Study 6, 2013, Acrylic gouache on Yupo, 8 1/4" x 13 1/2".
Courtesy of the artist.

This is an exciting month for Danforth Art.  May 1st marks the start of Town Meeting in Framingham, during which our proposal for purchase of a municipally-owned building will be considered. If approved, we will begin a process that will result in purchase and renovation of a new facility on the historic green in Framingham Centre, providing a new home for our growing community. 

This community includes not only art lovers attracted to Metrowest’s only public art museum, but also artists from throughout New England. In fact, more than one third of Danforth Art’s current members identify themselves as artists and, as we learned from reviewing the more than 1,450 works recently submitted for juried shows, the quality of their work is uniformly high. Selections for our upcoming Off the Wall, Picture This! and Community of Artists exhibitions showcase some of the very best contemporary work being produced today (view selected artists PDF).

Danforth Art’s Annual Juried Shows not only describe the engagement of member artists, but also on that of curators from other museums.  A short list of past jurors for Off the Wall includes Leslie Brown (PRC); Nick Capasso (Fitchburg); Carole Anne Meehan and Helen Molesworth (ICA); Cody Hartley and Jen Mergel (MFA); Lisa Tung (MassArt); Susan Stoops (WAM) and this year’s Dina Deitsch from the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. We have also attracted the attention of collectors who purchase work. Work first shown at Danforth Art has gone on to find a permanent home in private collectors or in other museums. 

An exciting conversation starts here. Students in Danforth Art’s School begin the process of becoming artists who may eventually be on exhibit in museum galleries. While many other museums are choosing a national or even global focus, the Danforth Museum of art remains committed to the region—proving that we need look no further than our own back yard to discover some of the very best contemporary work available anywhere.

Become part of this vital conversation. Invest in the future of one of New England’s fastest growing art museums by joining or increasing your Danforth Art Membership today.  Make a contribution to our Annual Fund or call 508-620-0050, ext. 10 to see how you might sponsor Off the Wall or other exciting programs.  As we look forward to relocating to a new facility, your support is vital, and we very much appreciate whatever you can do.  Thank you!
Sincerely,

Katherine French
Danforth Art Director 

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Director's Note - April 2013


 George Nick with student Ron Krouk and artist Jon Imber; Abelardo Morell with Trustee Kurt Steinberg; Reed Kay. Reed Kay photo by Mark Karlsberg / Studio Eleven.

Danforth Art is delighted to welcome the advent of spring with all new shows featuring landscape. Photography by Abelardo Morell, Neal Rantoul, and Aaron Siskind beautifully contrast with the paintings in Reed Kay’s retrospective, showcasing his seven -decade career. Kay’s connection to other painters can be seen in Ben Frank Moss: Open Sea, a solo show by one of his former students, as well as in Landscape Expressed, a group show located in two parts of the Museum, where viewers can see work by Jason Berger, Bernard Chaet, and Jack Kramer. Artists Kay, Berger, Chaet, and Kramer were all at the Museum School in the 1940s and are part of a group that has come to be known as Boston Expressionists

Another connection can be seen between George Nick and his former student from Mass Art, Eric Aho. Both are featured in Landscape Expressed. As so many have pointed out, education is key to all that we do here at Danforth Art, and we are particularly pleased to be showing work by painting students of George Nick in 15 Artists/13 Lessons from George Nick, in our School Gallery on the second floor. This exhibition was organized by Danforth Art faculty member Ron Krouk. More about this exhibit can be found in the Who We Are section of this newsletter.       

With so much happening on the education front, we are pleased to report recent success with Over the Moon, a benefit held on March 23 that raised more than $48,000 for the Deborah D. Blumer Fund in memory of one of our most respected and energetic art supporters. Now in its sixth year, the Blumer Fund supports educational programs that use exhibits to inspire creativity, programs that make Danforth Art truly unique. These programs are especially important as we look forward to relocating to a new facility.

Finally, thanks to a grant from the Highland Street Foundation, we will once again participate in Free Fun Friday on July 19.  Hands-on activities will focus on work in our annual juried shows Off the Wall, Community of Artists, and Picture This!, which showcase members of Danforth Art. Since more than one-third of our membership is artists, we are able to confidently say that visitors will see some of the best work done by artists living and working in New England today. Consider becoming a sponsor and attending our Off the Wall Patron’s Preview on June 8. You will get to meet the artists and even purchase some of their work.        
 
As always, I would like to express profound thanks for your support. None of this could take place without your help, and we ask that you please take a moment to reflect upon the many ways that art enriches our lives. If you have been inspired by an exhibition or by one of our educational programs, please consider making a contribution to help us continue this important work. We are very grateful for all that you do to support our mission.

With all best regards and best wishes for a wonderful spring,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Art

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Director's Note - March 2013


New Moon

Over the Moon is always special, but this year it will be very special. 

Guests arriving on Saturday, March 23, will be introduced to a new Danforth.  A new look will be unveiled. Those attending Over the Moon will enjoy the very first opportunity to see how the Danforth can be seen as one organization. A new logo created by Stoltze Design is symbolic of all the ways museum and school work together to create memorable experiences. We look forward to sharing this!

As always, Over the Moon will be a fabulous event with sparkling wines, elegant desserts, live music, and an opportunity to experience art. Special guest this year is Andrew Glass, whose original illustrations for Moby Dick: Chasing the Great White Whale are on view in our Children’s Gallery.  This is a fundraiser like no other, a benefit for the Deborah D. Blumer Fund in support of all educational programming at the Danforth. Education is central to all that we do. Your support of Over the Moon will be critical to our success during an important year.

Immediately following Over the Moon, we will look forward to attending Town Meeting where we hope to receive final approval on our proposed purchase of the Jonathan Maynard Building. We invite you to share our excitement about a new look that signifies many changes to come.  

Show your support at a time when it can make a real difference. Attend Over the Moon on Saturday, March 23. We hope to see you soon!
 
Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - February 2013


Jonathan Maynard Building on historic green
in Framingham Centre.

New Home for the Danforth

We are very excited.  Last night Framingham Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to approve the Museum’s proposal to purchase the Jonathan Maynard Building located on the historic green in Framingham Centre.  If approved by Town Meeting in May, the Danforth plans to begin placing programs in the Maynard Building in 2013 and relocate operations to a newly renovated facility by 2016.  Marcia Rosenberg, one of Museum’s founders and now current Trustee, comments that “this opportunity generates the kind of excitement we experienced in our early years and greatly contributes to our growing sense of community.”

Terms of the agreement call for the Danforth Museum to purchase the building for one million dollars ($1,000,000) in cash and to contribute an additional five hundred thousand ($500,000) in the form of in-kind services for Framingham residents that include discounts on museum memberships and studio art class scholarships; educational tours and programs for Framingham Public School and English as Second Language (ELL) students; professional development classes for Framingham Public School teachers and more.      

The agreement not only represents a long term solution to the Danforth facilities needs, but also an opportunity to create integrated museum and educational programs that can truly engage, inspire and transform the lives of children and adults.  Thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Bernardi Auto Group, visitors can get a taste of the kinds of programs we’re talking about on a special President’s Family Day on February 18, but all will be revealed at this year’s Over the Moon fundraiser to benefit the Deborah D. Blumer Fund.

Please join us on Saturday, March 23 for our sixth annual Over the Moon celebration that supports all educational activity at the Danforth.  You’ll not only enjoy live music, sparkling wines and gourmet desserts while helping to build a strong foundation for our future home, but also have a first opportunity to see and experience the first of many changes as we move forward.  We hope to see you there!  
 
Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - January 2013


Richard Yarde, The Break, 2000, watercolor on paper.
Courtesy, R. Michelson Galleries

Celebration

We’re pleased to begin the New Year by celebrating our supporters. Since the beginning of our fiscal year in September, over 250 members and friends have contributed more than $102,000 to our Annual Fund, primarily in response to $100,000 challenge grant, which made their gifts twice as effective. We have ambitious plans for the coming year and active engagement of the Danforth community is both much needed and much appreciated. Thank you! 
 
We are also grateful for support that comes in other ways.  A $10,000 grant from the National Foundation for the Arts will provide free admission during select hours for John Wilson: Eternal Presence and a $5,000 grant from the Artist’s Resource Trust of the Berkshire Taconic Foundation will allow us to create an exhibition catalog that will archive this critically acclaimed exhibitionNEA funding, as well as support from Bernardi Auto Group will also open the doors for special educational programming our MLK Family Day on January 21 and Presidents’ Day Family Day on February 18.  In addition, grants from Bernardi Acura of Boston and the 200 Foundation will further literacy efforts through exhibitions in our Children’s Gallery.  Educational programming that is linked to museum exhibits is very much part of what we do here at the Danforth, and we invite you all to celebrate this at our upcoming Over the Moon fundraising event on Saturday, March 23.

Generous support from individuals, foundations and corporate partners ensures continued growth at a significant time. Recent conversations with Framingham officials fill us with optimism for the year ahead and contributions made in this past year are truly an investment in an organization that looks forward to a bright future.  If you have not yet had an opportunity to support the Danforth, please consider doing so now. We need art more than ever right now, and your support is vital. Thank you and Happy New Year!
 
Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - December 2012


John Wilson
John Wilson,Trabajador, 1951, lithograph. 
Courtesy, John and Julie Wilson.

Building A Strong Foundation

Entering the holiday season, we have much to celebrate.  Our new exhibit John Wilson: Eternal Presence has not only received high critical praise (link to Smee review), but also a 10K grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to provide increased hours of free admission. The School is registering students for winter classes and increasing numbers are visiting the Museum and purchasing memberships. Negotiations for purchase of a building on the historic green in the center of Framingham have been completed and await approval at Town Meeting.  Thanks to a 30K Cultural Facilities grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, we’ve realized conceptual design studies for this new building. We have never been busier, or more optimistic about the coming year.

We’re thrilled that these positive events have inspired a number of challenge pledges.  Between now and December 31st, up to $100,000 of all contributions to our Annual Appeal will be matched 1:1, which makes your gifts doubly significant.  Contributions of $100 will grow to become $200; $500 will grow to become $1,000; and so forth.  Your participation not only ensures we’ll be able to continue realizing great exhibits and educational programs; it also builds a strong foundation for growth as we contemplate relocating to a new home. 

Once again, please consider a gift at a time when your donation will make a real difference—not just now, but for the future.  A year end, tax deductible contribution to our Annual Fund will not only ensure our ability to continue bringing you great exhibits and programs, but will also be an investment in one of New England’s great museums.  Place us in the center of a strong and growing community by making a donation today. Thank you and happy holidays.


Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - November 2012


Time for Thanksgiving

November is a month of Thanksgiving, and we are particularly thankful to the more than 300 people who attended A Matter of Taste, our annual wine tasting benefit.  Thanks to their support, along with generous corporate support from Bernardi Auto Group, Eastern Bank, TJX, and numerous others, the Museum not only raised nearly $40,000 to fund exhibits and educational programs, but also enjoyed a wonderful opportunity to bring our community together.

The Danforth’s community is truly unique mix of art lovers and art learners who recognize our ability to provide a special home for artists. This will be evident in a few weeks when we open our new winter show John Wilson: Eternal Presence. This retrospective exhibition of the Roxbury-born artist will reveal a remarkable career that has spanned nearly seven decades and expands our understanding of Boston Expressionism. Please join us.

Also consider making a donation to our Annual Fund as we approach the end of our calendar year. Your year-end, tax deductible contribution not only supports ambitious exhibitions and strong educational programs, but also builds a strong foundation for a future home. Please give as generously as possible at this critical time. Thank you for your support. 

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - October 2012


Ilana Manolson, Fragile Navigation, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.

This past month has been filled with activity, much of it spurred the single largest donation in the Danforth’s 37 year history—a $500,000 unrestricted gift that represents real confidence in what who we are and what we’re doing. (See recent articles in the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News and Worcester Business Journal).  Although this recent donation is unrestricted, Danforth Trustees voted that this significant contribution will be dedicated towards capital or strategic projects, a vote that is mindful of our plans to relocate.     

This recent gift comes on the heels of a steady 7-year growth for the Danforth.  Despite recent economic turmoil, museum attendance, membership and school enrollments have all grown.  Before this gift, the Museum calculated 10% growth in contributed revenue and 9% overall growth between 2007 and 2012.  Factoring in a $500,000 donation, the Danforth has realized 26% rate of growth over the past 5 years. A $30,000 Cultural Facilities grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council has allowed us to begin work with Ann Beha Architects and we’re now in negotiations with the Town for a municipally owned building on the historic green in Framingham Center.  We can now confidently envision a future in which that new home becomes reality. 

To learn more about our visionary plans, we invite you to join us to for our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, October 23 at 7 pm.  No matter how long or short a time you have been involved at the Danforth, you will enjoy the opportunity to learn more about our confidence in an organization that can truly engage, inspire and transform the lives of both children and adults.

Finally, almost immediately following our Annual Meeting, please join us to celebrate at A Matter of Taste, our yearly benefit wine tasting event to be held on Saturday evening, November 3rd.  For some, an appreciation for art can be a matter of taste and the Danforth has a variety of things to offer.  Enjoy great contemporary art by New England artists while sampling a selection of wines from around the world.  Your support of this event funds new exhibits, creates studio art classes, provides scholarships of deserving students and helps navigate our way to a new home.  Click here for tickets and more info.  We hope to see you soon.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art 

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Director's Note - September 2012


Catherine Kernan, detail from Splicing Shadows, woodcut monoprint, 2010. Courtesy of the artist. From Caught in the Current, up now through November 4.

The current began to move quickly recently. With just a few days to go before deadline, we raised enough to exceed budget goals with contributions that ranged from $25 to $25,000 and more. Not only will these contributions support the Museum in an important year, they also helped us meet a required 1:1 match for a $150,000 challenge pledge towards capital projects.These gifts will play a significant role in our plans to relocate to a new building on the historic green in Framingham center, and we’re pleased to report that summer 2012 marked our most successful fund drive ever. We are profoundly grateful. Many, many thanks!

Because of the generosity of many individuals, as well as solid corporate and foundation support, we approach the coming year with great optimism, confident in our ability to create programs that truly engage, inspire and transform the lives of children and adults. Sponsorship from Mutual One Bank, will allow us to admit all visitors to our Fall Family Day this Sunday,September 9, for free. Bernardi Autogroup and numerous others have already stepped forward to sponsor A Matter of Taste, our annual benefit wine tasting, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3.  Finally, a $30,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund has allowed us to begin a strategic building and site plan in anticipation of our proposed move. 

Thank you for your confidence in a museum and art school that has a clear vision for the future.  Art not only helps stimulate the economy, it also helps us grow as a culture. Become inspired by what we do at the Danforth. Please visit soon.

Sincerely,
Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - July 2012


Pelle Cass
Quincy Market, Spring, 2012
Inkjet print
Off the Wall, 2012

The Danforth—A Good Investment

Even in an uncertain economy, many see the Danforth as a good investment. That’s why we see members increasing their memberships, enrolling in studio art classes, and adding to their donations. As well, our corporate sponsorships are as strong as ever.

In yet another vote of confidence, the Town of Framingham has responded favorably to the Danforth’s proposal made for its use of the Jonathan Maynard Building, located on the historic town green in Framingham Center. We expect to enter formal negotiations soon. Read about our progress in our next newsletter. Very exciting!     

Even more exciting is a recent $150,000 challenge pledge to kick-start our 2012 Summer Annual Fund Campaign, and we need your help!  Thanks to the vision of one individual, all contributions made to our Annual Appeal before August 31 will be applied to meet this 1:1 challenge match. Gifts made now are doubly significant, allowing $500 gifts to grow into $1,000; $2,500 to grow into $5,000; and so forth. 

Help create an environment for growth. Cultivate the arts by making a contribution to one of New England’s fastest growing art museums and studio art centers now—while your donation can go twice as far.
 
Contributions in any amount will make a crucial difference.  Art not only sustains the economy, but it helps us to grow as a community and as a culture.  Art educates, renews, and inspires. That is what the Danforth Museum and School of Art has been doing the past thirty-seven years, and that what we will continue to do.   

Please make a donation now. We are grateful for your support!

Sincerely,
Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - June 2012


L-R: Louise Kennedy, WBUR Director of Community Engagement; Matthias Waschek, Worcester Art Museum Director; Katherine French, Danforth Museum Director; Serge Paul-Emile, MetroWest Alliance for Workforce Diversity

Creating An Environment for Growth

Summer is a time when many of us focus on our gardens. Here at the Danforth, it’s also a time when we enjoy sustained growth. Students are enrolling for summer classes, and many are choosing to renew or purchase memberships, including nearly 500 artists who submitted almost 1,500 works to our Off the Wall and Community of Artists juried exhibitions. Bernardi Auto Group, Page Waterman Gallery, the NAN Award and a growing number of individual supporters made it possible for us to host a special Patron’s Preview on Saturday, June 2, for artists, curators and collectors. During the Patron’s Preview, a number of works were sold or entered consideration for future purchase. This overwhelming response is reflective of the art community’s high regard for selections made by the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s Cody Hartley who served as this year’s juror—and of the Danforth Museum of Art’s ability to showcase completely unique works by member artists. In fact, more than one third of current members at the Danforth define themselves as artists, demonstrating that we not only cultivate an audience engaged by looking at art—we also cultivate an audience engaged in making art.

We’re pleased that this ability to engage our audience in dynamic conversations about art has been recognized by a growing number of corporate supporters, many of whom were thanked at the Danforth’s Annual Corporate Breakfast hosted by The VERVE Crown Plaza Natick on Tuesday, June 5. Joyce Kressler, formerly executive director of Worcester’s First Night, and Matthias Waschek, new executive director of the Worcester Art Museum, spoke eloquently on ways businesses can support cultural organizations to build community and grow the economy. We anticipate great opportunities for collaboration in the future.

More immediately, we are very excited to have received a challenge pledge of $150,000 to be counted towards a capital project to help the Danforth relocate to a new facility!  As many know, we’ve submitted a bid to the Town of Framingham’s RFP (request for proposals) for the Maynard Building located on the historic town green in Framingham Center. This challenge pledge, which requires a 1:1 match, means that all donations made between now and August 31 will be worth twice as much!  Please consider making a contribution when not only your gift, but your pleasure in making it, will be effectively doubled

This is an exciting opportunity—almost as exciting as some of the art now on view or the classes offered by our school. Whether you are an artist or an art lover, please become engaged at the Danforth during this a time of growth and possibility. Visit the Museum, enroll in a class or make a donation that will move us closer to our new home.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,
Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - May 2012


Esther Pullman
Lowell Park Greenhouse, North Leach, England
Archival Inkjet Photograph, 30 x 60 inches for triptych, 2010
Featured in Off the Wall, 2012

New Growth

May is Museum Members Month, as well as a month that encourages us to consider new growth.  Each year we are gratified to welcome increasing numbers of visitors to the galleries or students who enroll in studio classes, but recent submissions to our upcoming juried shows Off the Wall and Community of Artists indicate that an increasing in number of artists are engaged and inspired by what they find at the Danforth.   We’re particularly pleased to announce that a total of 477 new or renewing member artists submitted work for consideration by Cody Hartley, a remarkable curator who currently oversees gifts of art to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  His selections will be on view as part of our Annual Juried Exhibitions opening June 3rd—please join us!

May is also a time when we cultivate our own gardens, as well as prepare for exciting ways to spend free time during the summer.  In making vacation plans that perhaps include trips to other parts of the country, consider growing your Danforth Membership by upgrading to the Friend level.  You’ll receive admission and discounts to nearly 600 museums across the North America, expanding your sense of community by connecting to other museum while still supporting the Danforth.  This is a wonderful benefit for both individuals and families, and we hope you will be able to take advantage. 

But regardless of your membership level, celebrate Museum Membership Month by visiting the Danforth today. 
Hope to see you soon!

Sincerely,
Katherine French, Director 

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Director's Note - April 2012


Danforth School Baby and Toddler Class

We are delighted to report recent success with Over the Moon, a March 24th benefit event that raised more than $ 55,000 for the Deborah D. Blumer Fund  to honor the memory of one of our most respected art supporters.  Now in its fifth year, the Blumer Fund supports educational programming that uses exhibits to inspire creativity, programming that truly makes the Danforth a place Where Something Special Happens.

Danforth programs are out of the ordinary, an integrative gallery and hands-on experience for both children and adults.  Bring Your Baby encourages new parents to connect with their infants through art; Learning to Lookengages Head Start pre-school students; Art Tells a Storyencourages older children to explore visual narrative; and Drop Into Art invites families to make art together.  Students in our adult studio classes regularly visit the Museum and even the most casual visitor is likely to remark that they’ve “just had the most interesting conversation with an artist.” 

Thanks to a recent grant from the Highland Street Foundation, an even wider audience will become acquainted with the Danforth’s unique approach to experiential learning when we welcome visitors for a Free Fun Friday on July 13th.  Hands-on activities will be focused on The Giving Tree Project exhibition in our Children’s Gallery, and our annual juried shows Off the Walland Community of Artists will put forth some of the best contemporary work done by artists living and working in New England.       
 
None of this could take place without your help, and we ask that you take a moment to reflect upon how art can enrich your life.  If have been inspired by an exhibition, or by one of our educational programs, please consider making a contribution that will help us continue this important work.  We are very grateful for your support.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - March 2012


Museum
Danforth Building

A Commitment to the Community

Collaboration is central to what we do at the Danforth for collaboration is one of the ways we sustain and grow community.  Since 1975 we’ve worked to connect all members of our diverse audience through exhibits and programs that have attracted increasing numbers.  Membership is at an all time high, increasing numbers of students enroll in studio classes, and last year we welcomed more than 50,000 visitors.  We’ve learned that by working together we accomplish great things—and that we grow stronger by this effort.

Now, as we consider a number of possible solutions to on-going facilities problems surrounding our aging boiler, we’ll expect to call upon this experience.  Over the past year, it has become increasingly clear that the Danforth will no longer be able to remain in its current location.  When the Town of Framingham announced an RFP (Request for Proposal) for the Maynard Building located on the historic Town green, the Trustees decided to pursue this opportunity.  More details will be available at a later time, but I’m pleased to announce that the Danforth looks forward to remaining in Framingham, and will collaborate with many different groups in order to make it happen.       

Our next fundraiser recognizes this potential strength of community collaboration.  On Saturday, March 24th we’ll host Over the Moon, a benefit for the Blumer Fund in support of educational programs.  The late Deborah Blumer was committed to her community, both as a representative to the Massachusetts state legislature from the Town of Framingham, but also as a former Danforth Trustee.  Collaboration was her strength, and the Danforth has been inspired by her example.  Join us on March 24th, not only to celebrate the memory one of our communities most dedicated arts supporters, but also to lay a foundation for a successful future.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - February 2012


Over the Moon
Native American Tour in Arter Gallery.
Photo by Heather Swartz, BU CDIA

The Danforth -
A Community Where Everyone Can Be An Artist

Here at the Danforth, the experiences of viewing and making art are very connected—this makes us special.  Baby and toddler groups meet inside our galleries.  Public schools students view exhibits and then make related art projects.  Adults take breaks from studio classes to be inspired in the Museum, and engage visitors in conversation.  More than one person has remarked on the way out that they “have just had the most interesting conversation with an artist.” 
  
Because of this unique approach, we’ve received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and numerous private foundations. However, most support for educational programs comes through the Deborah D. Blumer Fund.  Established in 2006 to honor one of our community’s most dedicated and energetic arts supporters, the Blumer Fund enables us to run Art Tells A Story for Head Start pre-school students, the Native American and Meta Fuller Programsfor area public schools, our ESL Program for adults learning English and much more.

The Blumer Fund also supports the Danforth School of Art where students ages 2-92 take advantage of the 500 studio art classes we offer each year. Since 1975 we have provided quality arts education through integration exhibitions and studio art classes.  Museum Education Director Pat Walker has been twice named Massachusetts Museum Educator for the Year, and Museum exhibits been cited for curatorial excellence by the International Association of Art Critics and the New England Art Awards.

Please join us on Saturday, March 27th for our fifth annual Over the Moon celebration to benefit the Deborah D. Blumer Fund in support of arts education at the Danforth. This elegant evening of live music, sparkling wines and gourmet food is one of our most popular and successful events.  We have already received sponsorship from Bernardi Autogroup, Bose Corporation and numerous others. Insure that the Museum will be able to continue to engage and inspire by helping to create a community where everyone can be an artist.  We look forward to seeing you on March 24th!  Thank you. 

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - January 2012


Polar Bear Son
Detail of The Polar Bear Son
Image Courtesy of Meral and Wendy Dabcovich

One of the best parts of a director’s job is getting to thank all those who contribute to the Danforth’s success, and I’m pleased to begin the New Year by doing just that. During the past month of December, over 200 members and friends contributed more than $65,000 to our Annual Fund. To date we have raised over $150,000 towards our annual goal of $320,000. In addition, all contributions made between December 4th, 2011 and December 15th, 2011, helped secure a $10,000 challenge pledge towards facilities needs.  This was much needed, and much appreciated.  We thank you.

We were also pleased to receive word of a number of grants.  These include $15,000 in support from the Sudbury Foundation, which will enable us to run our Teen Docent Program next summer, as well as $5,000 from Bernardi Acura of Boston and $2,500 from the 200 Hundred Foundation to further literacy efforts through our Children’s Gallery.  In a few weeks we’ll open a show of original illustrations by Lydia Dabcovich for Polar Bear Son as a companion exhibit to our Native American program, and are very excited to follow with a showing of work from the Giving Tree Project, recently featured in The Boston Globe. Education is very much part of what we do here at the Danforth, and we invite you all to celebrate this at our upcoming Over the Moon educational fundraiser on Saturday, March 24. We are grateful for your support.        
 
Your generosity ensures growth at a significant time. For more than 35 years, the Danforth has been a vital presence within MetroWest.  Our aging facility presents us with a unique set of problems, but we are filled with optimism after recent conversations with Framingham officials in which both the Museum and the Town agreed to work together to find a solution.  Help us do this by joining others who not only believe that art can add value to life, but also benefits the community. Again, thank you!
 

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

 

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Director's Note - December 2011


Henry Schwartz, Pierrot Lunaire, 1991
oil and mixed media on panel
18" x 14"
Collection Danforth Museum of Art

Celebrating a Season of Light

Reflecting back on the past year, we have much to celebrate.  Our exhibit The Expressive Voice portrays the growing importance of the Danforth by showcasing an unprecedented number of new works we’ve welcomed into our permanent collection—many recent gifts from collectors who support the Museum’s on-going exploration of Boston Expressionism. The school is busy registering children for our December Vacation Workshops and adults for winter classes, and an increasing number of visitors are coming to visit Museum galleries or shop our holiday ceramic sale. We have never been busier, or more optimistic about the coming year.

Despite recent snow storms, a visit to the Danforth can help transcend the darkness of winter.  Many works on view depict themes of light, from Karl Zerbe’s Under the Chandelier, to Henry Schwartz’s Pierrot Lunaire to Jill Weber’s original illustrations for a children’s picture bookThe Story of Hanukkah, Weber will also be on hand this Sunday, December 4 to sign books for children attending our first Sunday Drop Into Art in which the children and their families are able to create their own art.  Visit the Museum this month to celebrate this season of light, a wonderful way to enjoy time with family and friends during the holidays.

And finally, please ensure our ability to continue with great exhibits and programs in the coming year by making a year-end, tax deductible donation to our Annual Fund.  Your gift helps provide enlightened programs that engage, inspire and transform the lives of children and adults, making us the center of a strong and growing community.  Thank you and happy holidays. 

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

 

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Director's Note - November 2011


Karl Zerbe
Karl Zerbe, American, 1903-1972
Under the Chandelier, 1948
Collection, Danforth Museum of Art
Gift of Herbert P. and Marylou Gray, 2011.45

During this month of Thanksgiving, we are particularly grateful to nearly 300 Museum Patrons who contributed to the success of A Matter of Taste, our annual wine tasting benefit. Thanks to their support, along with generous corporate support from Bernardi Auto Group, Eastern Bank, and numerous others, the Museum raised more than $33,000 to help fund exhibits and programs. We now look forward to our upcoming Annual Fund campaign with optimism, and thank all those who joined us last Saturday evening.

This has been remarkable year, and we have much to celebrate. Reflecting back over the past twelve months, we've received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to increase our engagement with the community, collaborated with the Boston Printmakers and Boston Cyberarts on exhibits; hosted Jim Dine and other luminary artists as part of our Visiting Artist Program; continued a dramatic increase in museum membership and art school enrollment. We enjoyed a successful year of fundraising, and completed our new strategic plan. The future looks bright and we approach the next months with great excitement.

Three new exhibitions open with a members' reception on Saturday, November 19th and to the general public on Sunday, November 20th. The Expressive Voice expands upon a summer exhibition in Boston's St. Botolph Club and showcases new acquisitions of Boston Expressionist works to our permanent collection. Rhoda Rosenberg: Matrilineal Threads marks a new educational partnership with the School for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and is accompanied by an exhibition catalog funded by the Artist's Resource Trust of the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. Finally, we continue our outstanding children's programs with Jill Weber: The Story of Hanukkah, an exhibit of original illustrations from the children's book celebrating an upcoming season of light.

As we approach the end of 2011, please consider making a year end, tax deductible donation to our Annual Fund in support of these and future exhibitions. Your gift plays a vital role in our ability to provide enlightened programs that engage, inspire and transform the lives of children and adults, and we are grateful to whatever you can do. We look forward to seeing you in the Museum soon.

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art  

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Director's Note - October 2011


SCWBI
At the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA,
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators’ Oct. 1 Workshop
.
(L to R) Danforth Museum Director Katherine French, writers
Jacqueline Davies (The Lemonade War); Newbery Honor winner
Kathryn Lasky; Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry (Number the
Stars and The Giver
); and illustrator Bill Thomson (Chalk)

As always, we are very busy at the Danforth Museum and School of Art.  Having completed a new Strategic Plan and a successful summer campaign that raised more than $45,000 in response to a $30,000 challenge gift, we approach the coming year with the kind of renewed energy and optimism that is evident to even our most casual visitor.  Five new exhibits are the subject of a series of panel talks and discussions sponsored by the Foundation for Arts and Healing, and the New England Photography Biennial curated by George Slade has attracted both popular and critical attention.

Our new Strategic Plan outlines a more focused integration of gallery and studio art experience, and we are confident that will take place with the hiring of new Museum Educator Kendra Keefer McGee.  A former museum educator at the Amnon Carter Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art, Keefer McGee is already hard at work.  During her first week on the job, she welcomed the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators for an October 1st workshop that featured writers Jacqueline Davies (The Lemonade War); Newbery Honor winner Kathryn Lasky; Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry (Number the Stars and The Giver); and Bill Thomson (Chalk).  These renowned speakers attracted more than 95 aspiring children’s writers and illustrators, as well as teachers and librarians for a day long program that included a book signing in the Museum School, as well as a visit to Scott Magoon’s exhibit Slightly Snarky: Otherwise Different in our Children’s Gallery.  Programs and studio art classes for the youngest members of the Danforth community will expand and become stronger—stay tuned for more!     

The new Strategic Plan has also increased our determination to resolve facilities issues, and we are in conversation with the Town of Framingham about our future in Town Owned facilities.  To learn more about visionary plans to realize an environment that fosters an integrative approach to creating and experiencing art, please join us for our Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening, October 25 at 7 pm.  No matter how long or short a time you have been involved at the Danforth, you will enjoy the opportunity to learn more about our confidence in the future of a museum that can truly engage, inspire and transform the lives of both children and adults.

And then finally, almost immediately following the Annual Meeting, you’ll be able to celebrate at A Matter of Taste, our yearly benefit wine tasting event to be held on Saturday evening, November 5th.  For some, an appreciation for art can be a matter of taste and the Danforth Museum of Art has a variety of things to offer.  Enjoy some of the very best contemporary art by New England artists while sampling a selection of wines from around the world.  Your support of this event helps fund new exhibits, create studio art classes, provide scholarships of deserving students and much more.  For tickets and more info. 

We hope to see you soon.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art  

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Director's Note - September 2011


Elsa Dorfman
Bob Burns, Carol Potoff, Terry Rockefeller, March 12, 1998
Polaroid 20 x 24 Polacolor Photograph
23w x 36h inches

We have reason to celebrate!  In just one short month, 111 people contributed a total of $41, 560 to our Annual Fund. These contributions came in response to a required 1:1 match for a $30,000 pledge due before end of our fiscal year.  Two days before the August 31st deadline, we still had a $5,000 gap to close, but the community rallied to help us exceed goal!  Despite a hurricane that knocked out power lines and slowed mail, we raised more than $11,000 in the last few days—some of it coming within the last few hours!  Contributions were at all levels, ranging from $10 to $5,000.  This was one of our most successful fund drives ever and we are grateful for your support.  Thank you!

Because of these individual donations, as well as corporate and foundation support, we are able to approach the coming year with renewed optimism—confident in our ability to create programs that truly engage, inspire and transform the lives of children and adults.  Generous sponsorship from Framingham Co-operative Bank, allows us to admit all visitors to our Fall Family Dayon Sunday,September 11th for FREE.   Support from the Foundation for Art & Healing enables us to present lectures and panel discussions related to art and the healing process as a regular part of fall programming.  And, on Saturday, November 5th, sponsorship from Bernardi Auto Group and numerous others brings us A Matter of Taste, our annual benefit wine tasting that is one of our most popular events. 

As we prepare to present our new strategic plan at the Danforth’s Annual Meeting on October 24, we want to thank you for your confidence in a museum and art school that has a clear vision for the future.  Art not only helps stimulate the economy, it also helps us grow as a culture.  Become inspired by all that we do here at the Danforth and please come to see us soon.

Katherine French, Director 

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Director's Note - July 2011


Andrew Kessler, Debbie
Andrew Kessler, Debbie, 2010, c-print, Courtesy of the Artist
Currently on view in Community of Artists 2011

Provocative and Dazzling
Artists at the Danforth

“Provocative and often dazzling” is how one critic describes work currently on view at the Danforth.  More than 250 artists are now on view in one of three juried exhibitions that “reveal the Danforth’s developing role as a showcase for contemporary art.”

However, the Danforth is more than a showcase. Research tells us that one third of our members are working artists, a lively, active group of individuals who can be found both in the Museum School and the Museum itself. Casual visitors to our galleries have often remarked that they “have just had the most interesting conversation with an artist,” conversations that expand and enrich their experience of looking at art. 

Artists make our world a more interesting place, and they play a vital role at the Danforth.  Given rapid economic change that has necessitated the closing of galleries and many nonprofit arts organizations, it is essential that we find creative ways to support these talented members of our community—and we do. 
As a Museum, we employ artists to teach studio art classes, sell their work in the Museum Shop, and create opportunities for artists to show (and sell) work in our annual juried shows.  As an individual, you can help in the following ways:

First, become a member, renew or join to see these “provocative and often dazzling shows” before they end on August 7.

Secondly, purchase work from Off the Wall, Community of Artists, and Picture This!—a purchase supports both the artist and the Museum. 

Finally, make a donation to our Annual Fund to support our ability to host these outstanding exhibitions, as well as fund innovative programs like Adria Arch’s mural project for Teen Docents this summer.

As always, we are grateful for your support and hope to see you soon.

All best,

Katherine French, Director 

Related Media

At the Danforth: Annual Juried Art Show
Chris Bergeron, MetroWest Daily News, June 26, 2011

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Director's Note - June 2011


Linda Leslie Brown
Linda Leslie Brown, Vehicle Array, 2011
wood, wire, paper clay, plastic, paint, live plants

Summer marks a time of increased activity with a series of exhibitions that have proved our most successful to date. Nearly 500 talented member artists entered work for review and a total of 267 were selected for exhibition in Off the Wall, Community of Artists and Picture This!  Thanks to Bernardi Auto Group, Fletcher Tilton PC and numerous individual supporters, we recently welcomed nearly 600 artists, curators and collectors for a special Patron’s Preview on Saturday, June 11.  A total of eleven works were sold that evening, and many more are under consideration. This overwhelming response is reflective of the art community’s high regard for selections made by Worcester Art Museum’s Susan Stoops and Susan Sherman of Charlesbridge Publishing who served as jurors—and for the Danforth Museum of Art’s ability to showcase some of the most exciting work being produced today.

The Museum’s continued commitment to the region will also be apparent in upcoming New England Photography Biennial, which will be juried by the Photographic Resource Center’s George Slade, and scheduled to open in September. While many museums are choosing to pursue a global focus, the Danforth Museum of Art maintains a local approach—discovering works for juried shows that are rich, complex and completely unique. Recent marketing studies reveal that more than one third of current members define themselves as artists, demonstrating that we not only cultivate an audience engaged by looking at art. We also cultivate an audience engaged in making art. 

Whether you are an artist or an art lover, please visit our juried shows over the summer to become part of a dynamic conversation that will enrich your immediate experience of the world. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

Related Media

Download Off the Wall Exhibition Catalog (PDF)
Download Community of Artists Exhibition Catalog (PDF)
Download Picture This! Exhibition Catalog (PDF)

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Director's Note - May 2011


Neeta Madaher, Sustenance
Neeta Madaher
Sustenance 39,
2003
Nature Studies
Danforth Museum of Art Collection
Image Courtesy of Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston

Celebrate Museum Membership Month

May is Museum Membership Month and we are pleased by the growing number of new members who have made the Danforth one of the fastest growing museums in New England.  In this past year, 651 new members joined 944 renewing members for critically acclaimed exhibits and programs that invite visitors to become actively involved.

The idea of active involvement has been a key part of our strategic planning in the past year. Museum Trustees recognize our unique position as a leader in education that encourages communities to experience, create and celebrate art for themselves. Students in our Museum School make art. Participants in our tours ask questions that become answers under the guidance of docents specially trained in VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies). Museum educators collaborate with classroom teachers to create curriculum for the Meta Fuller Program. In fact, Danforth volunteers have become active at every level of the Museum experience—from visitor services to governance. Whether staffing an event or serving as a Trustee, members of the Danforth are actively involved in helping the Museum to succeed. 
 
The Danforth Museum and School of Art envisions its future as a nationally recognized leader among community museums and art education centers, providing exhibitions and programs to engage, inspire and transform the lives of children and adults. During my very first week of work, I personally witnessed the kind of profound transformation art brings. Observing a particularly engaged student who’d visited as part of a school tour, I noticed when he used one of our free passes to return with his parents, grandmother and little sister. As he stood gesticulating in front of a painting by the contemporary Native Artist Juane Quick-to-See Smith, I realized how well our docents had done their job. I don’t know exactly what the boy was saying (he was speaking Portuguese), but I do know that he had become an authority on painting—and a lifelong member of the Danforth, regardless where he ends up living as an adult.

There has never been a better time to become a member of the Museum. Art changes lives. It sustains human activity and helps us grow as a culture. Join the growing number of new and renewing members who support the Danforth through its membership. We look forward to seeing you soon.        

Sincerely,
Katherine French, Director 

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Director's Note - April 2011


Over the Moon 2011
Image: Adam Blumer, Sarah Guernsey, Scott Beattie and
Marjorie Lemmon enjoy storytime at Over the Moon 2011.
Courtesy of Heather Swartz.

Transforming Lives at the Danforth

We are thrilled at the response to our March 26th Over the Moon Fundraiser, which raised more than $30,000 for the Deborah D. Blumer Fund in support of educational programming at the Museum.  Honoring the memory of one of our community’s most energetic arts supporters, the Blumer Fund most recently helped the Danforth meet a required matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to fund an exhibition of original watercolors by children’s book illustrator Adam Gustavson, as well as special school vacation workshops focused on his book The Yankee at the Seder.

This kind of educational program is central to what we do here at the Danforth, and will determine our future as a nationally recognized leader among community museums and art education centers. During our current strategic planning process, both Trustees and staff articulated a vision for an institution that will engage, inspire and transform the lives of children and adults. However, we cannot do this without resources and support, and we therefore find recent developments in Washington and on Beacon Hill troubling.

Last week’s federal budget agreement reduced budgets of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities by $12.5 million each—both of which have made grants to the Danforth in the past year.  Here in Massachusetts, the House Ways & Means Committee has proposed an 18% budget cut to the state budget for the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), which has also granted significant funding to the Danforth. 

There is the possibility that some grant programs may be eliminated altogether, but we remain committed to a future that includes education. If you believe that art has the ability to transform lives, we urge you to contact your representatives on Capitol Hill or in the Massachusetts legislature. If you have been inspired by a Danforth exhibit, or engaged by one of our studio classes, please consider making a contribution that will help us continue.  Make a donation today. We are very grateful for your support.

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

Related Media

Learn more at the MCC's Advocacy Action Center to help stop the cuts to arts and cultural funding.

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Director's Note - March 2011


Katherine French, Director
Image: Katherine French, Director. Courtesy of Bror Hultgren.

The Danforth
A Place for Artists to Exist

…I’ve found a home in a community museum that is in no way elite… I find real satisfaction in knowing that I’ve helped create a place for artists to exist…

Subscribers to Art New England may have already read this recent profile from the March/April issue but I would like to take this opportunity to share it as a reflection of core values that have existed at the Danforth since the beginning—a belief that art is an essential part of the human experience and that training in the visual arts should be fundamental.   

Education is central to all that we do.  Over the past three years, we have been fortunate to receive three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to support educational programming.  However, expected congressional budget cuts will present grave challenges to our continued ability to provide the kind of programming that makes the Danforth Museum and School of Art unique. We must work harder than ever and can not do this without your help.

Please consider participating in our fourth annual Over the Moon Fundraiser to benefit the Deborah D. Blumer Fund in support of arts education at the Danforth. This evening of live music and sparkling wines and gourmet hors d’oeuvres catered by Different Tastes Catering, has been supported by Bernardi Autogroup, Bose Corporation, Bank of America, and Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, and numerous other corporate and individual sponsors. Join them in helping to insure that the Museum will be able to continue to engage and inspire. Help to create a community where everyone can be an artist, and a place for artists to exist.

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - February 2011


Danforth Museum of Art
Danforth Museum of Art Exterior. Courtesy of Damianos Photography

Two important milestones were reached during this past month.  On January 25th, the Board of Trustees approved new Mission and Vision statements that recognized the Museum and Museum School as equal partners.  And then, on January 31st, the Museum submitted our response to the Town of Framingham’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for long-term lease of the Danforth Building.

Engage, inspire and transform—those are lofty ambitions, but art has that power.  It not only sustains, but also defines our culture.  It can renew and inspire—and provide the catalyst for great change.

In order to fulfill this mission and achieve its vision as a nationally recognized leader among community museums and art education centers, the Danforth seeks to work with the Town to become the long-term steward for the Danforth Building.  It’s too early to comment on specific details.  These will be worked out in negotiations, but it is safe to say that we look forward to a partnership that will make it possible to address the needs of a culturally significant, architecturally important building at the heart of Metrowest.  And, the kind of collaboration necessary to achieve this goal is central to what we do. 

As a community museum and art center, we are comprised of many communities—of artists and art lovers, of students and educators, and from towns and cities from throughout New England.  Collaboration builds and sustains these communities.  In the immediate future, we look forward to collaborating with the Boston Printmakers on their 2011 Biennial exhibition juried by renowned artist Jim Dine.  On March 1, we again work with the Framingham Library on their Framingham Reads Together initiative with the opening of original watercolor illustrations for Claire Nivola’s Civil War themed children’s book The Silent Witness in our Children’s Gallery.  And our collaboration with Framingham Public School teachers on the Meta Warrick Fuller Program continues—thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sudbury Foundation and recent contributors to our Annual Fund.

Visit the Museum often and become part of our community.  Become engaged in what we do, inspired by what you see, and transformed by what you experience.  We look forward to seeing you soon.     

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - January 2011


Meta Warrick Fuller
Works by Meta Warrick Fuller. Collection, Danforth Museum of Art

Up to the Challenge

Thank you!  I can’t say how pleased I am to begin the New Year by thanking all those who recently contributed to our Annual Fund—proving once again that members and friends are up to the challenge of helping the Danforth Museum of Art become one of the most respected cultural institutions in New England.  During the month of December, 227 members and friends donated more than $95,000, which not only put us closer to our Annual Fund goal of $100,000, but also helped meet a required cash match for nearly $50,000 in grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Because of your support, Museum educators will continue work with area teachers to create a school curriculum based on our collection of work by African American sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller.  We will also collaborate with the Framingham Public Library to host exhibitions by renowned children’s book illustrators as part of their Framingham Reads Together initiative.  Grants from the Foundation for Metrowest, the Framingham Cultural Council, the 200 Foundation and Acura of Boston will provide for increased access—making a real difference in our ability to transform the lives of both children and adults in our community.

We are in a strong position as we enter into conversations with the Town of Framingham for a long-term lease, but could not have done this without your help.  If you have not yet had an opportunity to contribute, please consider joining others who believe in the power of arts and culture by making a donation to our Annual Fund.  We are profoundly grateful for your support.

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - December 2010


Where Something Special Happens
Still from the film "Where Something Special Happens"

Where Something Special Happens

Those closely involved with the Museum already know about our high quality exhibits and educational programming, but two recent government grants publicly recognize the great work that we do.  In the past month we’ve received $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support collaboration with the Library’s Framingham Reads Initiative and a $6,000 preservation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help assess our permanent collection of more than 3,500 art objects.  Smaller grants from the Framingham Cultural Council, the Foundation for Metrowest and the 200 Foundation will support art making activities for children, and thanks to a recently released film, our Museum School is busily registering children for December School Vacation Workshops.  A recent review in the Boston Globe has brought an increasing number of visitors into our galleries, and to shop at our Holiday Sale.  We have never been busier—or more productive. 

Our Strategic Planning and Facilities Committees are working right up to the holidays, first on a strategic plan that will chart our course over the next three years, and then on a response to an a request for proposals (RFP) for the Danforth Building. This RFP is due December 27, and it is our hope to begin negotiations for a long-term lease with the Town of Framingham soon afterwards.  A building feasibility study completed by Ann Beha Architects last year has provided many insights for how we might upgrade and renovate our aging facility.  This will not be simple or easy (read recent article), but we are optimistic about how we might work together with the Town to realize our ambitious goals.  We look forward to the day when our physical space can match the great programs going on inside.  

However, we can do none of this without your help.  Please take this opportunity to make a tax-deductible contribution to our Annual Appeal, which will help meet required cash matches for several recent grants.  Because of past support from people like your selves, we have been to accomplish much since our founding in 1975.  Sustain your love of art, and join with us to celebrating our 35th Anniversary.  We hope to see you in the Museum soon!

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

Related Media
"Danforth finds the ties that bind
Similarities enrich four artists' exhibits"

by Cate McQuaid, The Boston Globe, December 12, 2010

"Danforth, Framingham Historical Society among federal grant recipients"
The MetroWest Daily News, December 10, 2010

"Danforth Museum looks to Framingham to help with building repairs"
by Danielle Ameden, The MetroWest Daily News, December 7, 2010

"Where Something Special Happens" Film

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Director's Note - November 2010


Dear Danforth Museum of Art Community,

This month we would like to extend special thanks to the nearly 350 people who attended the Museum’s A Matter of Taste, a benefit wine tasting which raised nearly $17,000 in support of exhibitions and programming.  Through a mix of art and social engagement, we become less isolated—and meaningfully engaged by the opportunity to share an experience.    

Over the next few months, we will be seeking to share and exchange many thoughts and experiences with the community.  As you know from previous e-newsletters and communications, the Museum has embarked upon an ambitious strategic planning initiative to chart our direction for the future.  We are very excited to be working with consultants Amy Cahners and Susan Donahue, and are would like to introduce Trustee Robert Martin as Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee who will be communicating with you over the next few months. 

Until recently, Robert Martin served as the vice president for academic affairs at Framingham State University and has served as FSU’s representative to the Danforth Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees for over four years.  He comes to us as a skilled administrator with much experience in strategic planning, and will be a valuable asset as we seek to identify the directions and priorities for the Museum’s future priorities and direction—and strategies to achieve our goals and realize a future that will ensure lasting success.  Many of you have already contributed by involvement with various on-line surveys and focus groups, and we look forward to your future input.  Please read the following letter from Robert Martin carefully, and look for future correspondence from him in our monthly newsletters.

Finally, we offer our profound thanks for your past support and invite your continued engagement.  As we near the end of 2010, we ask that you please consider a year end, tax deductible contribution to our Annual Fund. Donations play a vital role in our ability to present outstanding exhibitions and educational programs that celebrate art and the creation of art.  We are extremely grateful for whatever you can do to help and look forward to seeing you at the Museum soon.  

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Colleen Rolph, President of the Board of Trustees   

Related Media
Letter from Robert Martin, Strategic Planning Committee Chair

Donate to the Annual Fund

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Director's Note - October 2010


Danforth Museum of Art Banners 2010
New banners on the Danforth Museum of Art entrance.

As always, we are very busy at the Danforth Museum of Art and Museum School. Trustees and Overseers are now in the middle of a strategic planning process and we are busily preparing our response to the Town of Framingham’s much anticipated Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Danforth Building. New banners have been installed just outside the front doors, an outward display of the Museum’s celebration of art and the creation of art.  And, we are very excited about our upcoming Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 28 at 7 pm, when we will premier a new short film entitled Where Something Special Happens.  All are welcome to attend.

The wonderful five minute film, Where Something Special Happens, produced by the Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts, portrays a typical day during which our Teen Docents lead young Museum School students through exhibitions and talk about their experience in this innovative program. Of course, as stars of the film, these talented young people will be on hand to give tours at the end of the evening.  No matter how short or long a time you have been involved with the Danforth, this will be a wonderful way to celebrate the kind of educational programming that has received so much attention. View recent article in the MetroWest Daily News.

Finally, we would like to remind you about our upcoming benefit wine tasting A Matter of Taste on Saturday,November 6, from 7pm to 10pm. Like wine, an appreciation for art is a matter of taste and the Danforth Museum of Art always has a variety of things to offer. Please come to enjoy different kinds of art while sampling a selection of wines from around the world, as well as gourmet foods and desserts. This is one of our most celebrated events, and tickets can be purchased online or by calling 508.620.0050 x 14. Proceeds support programming and the mission of the Museum and Museum School. Help us celebrate our 35th Anniversary Year.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

Related Media
"Danforth's docent program win-win for teen, museum"
by Chris Bergeron, The MetroWest Daily News, October 17, 2010

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Director's Note - September 2010


A Matter of Taste 2010

Life is busy here at the Danforth Museum of Art.  Classes have begun in the Museum School, and students are pleased to take note of freshly painted rooms as well as other facilities upgrades made over the summer.  In the Museum, attendance has continued to rise, particularly on the first weekend each month when we welcome visitors as part of the Bank of America’s Museum’s on Us™ program.  In addition to this important support to promote access, Bank of America recently awarded the Danforth Museum of Art a 60K grant, 20K per year over three year's time.  This kind of corporate sponsorship is vital, and greatly contributes to our ability to make plans for the future.

Planning for the future will very much be part of our lives in the coming year.  Last week Museum Trustees met with consultants Amy Cahners and Susan Donahue, who are helping the Board to facilitate a strategic planning process.  At the same time, we will plan to respond to an RFP (request for proposals) from the Town of Framingham for the Danforth Building.  This important step will bring us closer to securing a long term lease, helping us realize a physical space that matches the excellence of our exhibition and educational programming.  We envision a bright future for the Museum, and hope we will have occasion to celebrate in the coming year. 

And, speaking of celebrations, we are pleased to invite you all to attend A Matter of Taste, our wonderful annual wine tasting benefit event, scheduled for Saturday evening, November 6th, 2010. This is one of our most popular fundraisers, and particularly important as we celebrate our 35th Anniversary Year. Sponsored by Bernardi Auto Group, Fletcher Tilton & Whipple, P.C. and numerous others, A Matter of Taste attracts nearly 400 patrons each year for an elegant evening of delicious food and wine.  Please plan to attend.  Early purchase of tickets assures you a place at an event where there will truly be something for everyone. Tickets are now available for purchase online.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

Related Media
"Danforth Museum wants to sign lease with Framingham"
by Danielle Ameden, The MetroWest Daily News, August 30, 2010

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Director's Note - Summer 2010


Jules Aarons, Conversation Piece (Boston's West End)
Jules Aarons, Coversation Piece (Boston’s West End);
From the portfolio, In Jewish Neighborhoods, 1947-1953,
silver gelatin print, 2003
Courtesy, Estate of Jules Aarons and
Gallery Kayafas, Boston

Those of you acquainted with the Museum know our aging facility presents many challenges.  While the Danforth Museum of Art and Museum School is pleased to be celebrating its 35th Anniversary in the historic Danforth Building, we know major renovations will be required.  Museum Trustees are working hard to ensure our continued presence in downtown Framingham.  Thanks to a Cultural Facilities Fund grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Ann Beha Architects has completed a design feasibility study on the Danforth Building, and we are excited to be presenting these findings to the Framingham Board of Selectmen on Tuesday evening, August 24th.

Ann Beha Architects is an award winning architectural firm, well known for work with cultural organizations housed in older buildings, and Architect Steve Gerrard will put forward a number of possible solutions.  Museum Trustees and staff will be on hand to provide other information, respectfully proposing the Town and the Museum enter negotiations for a long term lease and begin a partnership that will help us preserve the 100 year old Danforth Building.  As many of you have told us repeatedly, the Danforth Museum and Museum School is a wonderful place, full of lively educational activities for people of all ages.  We are an institution with an interesting and vibrant past.  It is our sincere hope that this upcoming presentation will provide the basis for a bright future. 

Please join us by tuning in to local cable television networks at 7 pm on Tuesday, August 24 to watch live on the Framingham Government Channel (Comcast Channel 10, RCN Channel 13 or Verizon Channel 42).

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - June 2010


Anita Walker, Director, Mass Cultural Council, speaking at the Danforth Museum's Annual Corporate Breakfast
Anita Walker, Director, Massachusetts Cultural Council,
speaking at our Annual Corporate Breakfast
Image Courtesy of Kelley Lai-Ping Hackett

Summer has always marked a time of increased activity, a time when it is most evident that the Museum is truly part of a thriving community.  Students and teachers from the Danforth Museum School are now in the galleries with their drawing pads, ready to be inspired by the art work on display.  Our Museum education staff continues to meet with public school teachers throughout the summer to build curriculum based on our Museum collection, and our summer interns have begun projects that will support their studies once they return to college.  Increasing numbers of visitors arrive to see Off the Wall and Community of Artists, two juried exhibitions of work by member artists selected by MFA curator Jen Mergel and ICA curator Helen Molesworth. The work on display is outstanding, a sure sign that the Danforth Museum of Art is a venue for not only historically important exhibits, but also for new and exciting art. 

There is growing support for our exhibitions, as well as our educational initiatives.  Over 200 curators, artists and patrons attended our Off the Wall Patron’s Preview Event, which benefited Museum exhibits and programming, and more than 550 artists and friends gathered to celebrate the opening reception a few days later.  And, on Tuesday, June 15, more than 60 corporate supporters gathered for the Annual Corporate Breakfast in Museum galleries to hear speakers Senator Karen Spilka, Bank of America’s Alisha Verity and Massachusetts Cultural Council Director Anita Walker address the need for continued strong relationships between the business and the arts communities.

Corporate support for the Danforth Museum is strong.  Each year the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center supplies an elegant breakfast for our Annual Corporate Breakfast; Bank of America’s Museums on Us™ program continues to offer free admission for bank customers; The TJX Charitable Foundation provides scholarships for deserving students in our Museum School; Bernardi Auto Group, Bose Corporation and numerous other companies offer a wide variety of program support that helps us achieve our mission to celebrate art and the creation of art.  The Museum is proud to partner with these important businesses.  Without their help, we could not possibly achieve all that we do to promote arts education and cultural programming.  Because of this engagement and support, our community grows each day and we are exceedingly grateful.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - May 2010


Neeta Madaher, Sustenance
Neeta Madaher
Sustenance 39,
2003
Nature Studies
Danforth Museum of Art Collection
Image Courtesy of Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston

Celebrate Museum Members' Month

May is Museum Members' Month, as well as a month that encourages us to consider new growth.  Once again the Museum has been selected for participation in Bank of America’s Museums on Us Program TM, which ensures an increasing number of new visitors.  Thanks to funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Bernardi Acura of Boston, more than 600 children and adults participated in programs and activities surrounding the exhibition Giles Laroche:  Bridge Across Cultures, The World at My Fingertips.  And more than 400 member artists submitted work for our upcoming Off the Wall and Community of Artists juried exhibitions. 

Our challenge now is to create a facility that matches the quality of what we do at the Museum.  On May 5th we met with Town officials about a lease and our facilities committee has begun making plans for repairs to the Danforth Building.  The Museum has a bright future and we ask that you join others who believe in that future by contributing to our Annual Fund, or simply increasing your membership level to enjoy new membership benefits.

During the June 2010, all members of the Danforth Museum of Art will receive free admission to all of Historic New England’s 36 cultural sites.  And, at the Friend level, members will receive admission and discounts to nearly 400 museums across the North America—not just during the month of June, but into the future.  Become a Friend of the Danforth Museum of Art and expand your sense of community by connecting to other museums.  There has never been a better time to be a member, and we look forward to seeing you soon.  

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - April 2010


Sheldon Orrin Parsons - Portrait of an Adolescent
Sheldon Orrin Parsons (1866-1943)
Portrait of an Adolescent,
circa 1890
oil on canvas, 18 x 14”
Courtesy of Paul Worman Fine Art, New York

The Danforth Museum of Art continually seeks to offer more, and we are thrilled at the response to our March 27th Over the Moon Fundraiser that raised more than $36,000 net for the Deborah D. Blumer Fund in support of educational programming here at the Museum.  Thanks to overwhelming support for an event that honors the memory of one of our community’s most energetic and committed arts supporters, we have been able to meet a required match for two separate grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  This funding helps continue offering workshops, tours and classes tied to our outstanding exhibits.  Now we will be able to do even more.

This year’s support from the National Endowment for the Arts allowed for special visits and workshops by children’s book illustrator Giles Laroche, as well as initiated a two-year collaboration with the Framingham Public Schools to create a curriculum based on the Museum’s permanent collection of work by renowned African American sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller.  Our work with Fuller has attracted growing attention, and was partly responsible for helping us to secure the loan of an important exhibition from Babcock Galleries in New York. 

On view at the Danforth Museum of Art until May 30, African Americans: Seeing and Seen, 1766-1916 provides a historical context for our consideration of Meta Fuller in the current exhibition Meta Warrick Fuller: From the Studio.  Seen together, these two exhibitions allow us to more fully understand Fuller—a woman who was well aware of her own heritage, both as an African American and as an artist. 

Please join us and specially invited guests for a special reception celebrating this work on
Saturday, May 8 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - March 2010


Over the Moon 2010

Here at the Danforth Museum of Art we continue to celebrate our 35th Anniversary Year with a very special Over the Moon fundraiser to benefit the Deborah D. Blumer Fund.  Established in 2006 to honor the memory of one of our community’s most energetic arts supporters, the Blumer Fund supports arts educational exhibitions and programming in both the Museum and Museum School through programs like Art Tells a Story and the creation of our Goodnight Moon Reading Area.  Please join us on Saturday, March 27th from 8-10 p.m. for an elegant evening of live music, sparkling wines and fine desserts.   

This year the Blumer Fund will help provide a required match for two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.  The first NEA grant supports the Meta Fuller Program, a collaboration with area public schools to create a curriculum, tours and arts activities based on the Museum’s collection of work by 20th century African American Sculptor and Framingham resident, Meta Warrick Fuller.  The second NEA grant supports Bridge Across Cultures, The World at My Fingertips, an exhibit of work by renowned children’s book illustrator Giles Laroche who will conduct a special workshop during April School Vacation Week and come for a book signing on May 2 at 1:30 p.m.

This kind of programming benefits all members of our community—from the very youngest children enrolled in our baby and toddler group to senior adults taking classes in painting or drawing.  Since 1975 we have provided quality arts education and look forward to another 35 years here in the Danforth Building.  Please join us for Over the Moon on Saturday, March 27th and support a Museum named Outstanding Cultural Organization by the Massachusetts Arts Education Association.  Museum Education Director Pat Walker has been twice named Museum Educator for the Year by the state of Massachusetts, and we have been cited for curatorial excellence by the International Association of Art Critics and the New England Art Awards.  Education is central to all that we do here at the Museum, and we so appreciate your support.  Thank you. 

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - February 2010


Museums Make Economic Sense

How does the Danforth Museum of Art help support the economy in Massachusetts?  Thanks to a study conducted by Carlisle & Company and funded by the Sudbury Foundation, arts and cultural organizations located in Framingham know exactly what kind of economic impact we have on the community.  The Danforth Museum of Art, together with the Amazing Things Arts Center, the Framingham History Center, the Framingham Public Library, the New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods and the Performing Arts Center of Metrowest, help to contribute to a nearly two billion dollar cultural tourism industry.  We might be small, but we have significant impact.

Since 2004 all six organizations have collaborated as part of the START Framingham Partnership to promote community.  Together we have a combined current operating budget of $6.3 million, yet provide nearly double the economic value of $11.4 million annually.  Looking forward, we anticipate a combined economic impact of $126.8 million within the next 10 years as staffing and operating budgets increase.  And, since many of us are currently renovating our facilities or expect to do so shortly—we conservatively expect to seek more than $20 million in capital investments, increasing the number of jobs by 27% and our economic impact by $36 million.  Clearly, capital investment in Framingham’s arts and cultural organizations will offer impressive returns.      

Thanks to a Cultural Facilities grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Museum was able to complete a feasibility study for the Danforth Building and now seeks to negotiate a long term lease with the Town of Framingham.  We are already known for outstanding exhibitions and educational programming.  Now celebrating the start of its 35th Anniversary Year, the Museum looks forward to making improvements that will create a facility that is equally worthy.  Our efforts will not only create a safe, aesthetically pleasing environment for visitors and students.  They will also support the economy at a time when it is vital to do so.

Please consider supporting the Museum in its efforts by making a contribution to our Annual Fund.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

Related Media

START Economic Impact Study (PDF)

Study says investment in local arts organizations pays off
by Chris Bergeron, The MetroWest Daily News, February 1, 2010

Framingham START Partnership Says Investment Will Pay Off
massnonprofit.org, February 17, 2010

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Director's Note - January 2010


Danforth Museum of Art Founding Members
Danforth Museum of Art Founding Members, May 1975

Celebrate 35 Years!

Great things are happening at the Danforth Museum of Art, and we are pleased to begin our 35th Anniversary Year by thanking those who help contribute to our success.  During the month of December, members and friends contributed more than $50,000 to the Annual Fund, which puts us closer to fundraising goal of $100,000 for the year.  The Sudbury Foundation recently donated $20,000—$10,000 per year over the next two years—to support a $20,000 matching grant from National Endowment for the Arts for collaboration with the public schools.  Because of this funding, Museum educators will work with area teachers to create a school curriculum based on the Museum’s collection of work by African American sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller, firmly establishing The Meta Fuller Program.  And in response to a second $10,000 matching grant from the NEA, Acura of Boston has donated $5,000 towards Bridge Across Cultures, a celebration of diversity through an exhibition and related arts programming based on the work of renowned children’s book illustrator Giles Laroche.  Children’s programming will greatly benefit thanks to a $2,000 gift from The 200 Foundation in support of Art Tells A Story, an arts and literacy based program for preschool Head Start students.  And once again scholarships are available to Museum School students thanks to a $20,000 grant from the TJX Charitable Foundation for the Museum School’s Scholarship and Visiting Artist Program.

The Museum has also attracted the engagement and support of several groups working to support non profits.  Last year we worked with a group of alumni from the Harvard Business School, who helped with strategic financial planning related to facilities issues as part of their Community Action Partners (CAP) Program.  This year we will work with Community Consulting Teams (CCT), a volunteer group of MBA alumni from top ranked business schools across the country to create a strategic marketing plan for the Museum School.
   
This support is greatly appreciated, and ensures continued growth at a significant time. Museum Trustees have committed to remaining in the Danforth Building as the result of a building feasibility study conducted by Ann Beha Architects, and we look forward to conversations with the Town of Framingham regarding the possibility of a long term lease.  For more than 35 years, the Danforth Museum of Art and Museum School has been a vital presence in Framingham’s Town Center, fulfilling its mission as a vibrant cultural organization that celebrates art and the creation of art.  Today we remain the only art museum in Metrowest.  Each year we welcome nearly 9,000 visitors and serve more than 4,000 school age children through educational programs.  We are proud to serve the community in many significant ways.    

During times of economic uncertainty, art and culture sustains us.  Foundations, corporate supporters and, most importantly, individuals have chosen to support the Museum.  Join others who believe that art truly adds to our lives in an important way, and invest in your community. We need art more than ever right now, and your support is vital.  Thank you!

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - December 2009


Gerry Bergstein, Do You Come Here Often?, 2005
Gerry Bergstein, Do You Come Here Often?, 2005, oil on canvas, 120" x 60"
Collection Danforth Museum of Art

2009 Year in Review

Support the Museum during an important year. During 2009,  an increasing number of visitors made their way to our Framingham location, and we experienced the highest attendance ever. Marketing and building feasibility studies funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council helped support a renewed commitment to the Danforth Building.  Museum membership and Museum School enrollment continued to grow, and we have received two significant grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.    

These NEA grants recognize the excellent quality of our educational programming.  In April we received $20,000, which will fund collaboration with the Framingham Public Schools to develop a curriculum based on our collection of work by the African American sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller.  This past fall we received $10,000 to support the exhibit The World at my Fingertips by children’s book illustrator Giles Laroche, as well as related art workshops for low income children. The Danforth Museum of Art lies at the center of a richly diverse community,
and NEA funding will encourage an understanding of that diversity.  Differences sometimes separate a community, but art brings us together by encouraging respect of those differences.  We look forward to the coming year with considerable excitement.

However, we can only realize these projects with your help. 
Both grants require a 1:1 match, and we must now raise an additional $30,000 in the next few months—your support is essential.  Through the generosity of people like you, the Museum will continue to grow.  Please consider a year end, tax deductible contribution to our Annual Fund.  Your contribution plays a vital role in our ability to present outstanding exhibitions and educational programs that celebrate art and the creation of art. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your past support, and invite you to join with us to celebrating the year to come.  We hope you are able to visit to the Museum often!

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - November 2009


Giving Thanks

During this Thanksgiving holiday, we are especially grateful to our corporate sponsors and the nearly 300 attendees of the Museum’s benefit event, A Matter of Taste, which raised close to $15,000 in support of exhibitions and programming.

For many, this annual fundraising event is a perfect introduction to the Danforth Museum of Art. Visitors are able to see outstanding exhibitions of contemporary artwork, as well as selections from our permanent collection, while sampling select wines from around the world.  Whether comparing 19th century painting to 20th century installation, or chardonnay to merlot, this event reminds us that an individual's response is always personal.  The sampling of wines perfectly illustrates that there is no one correct response in visiting the Museum.  As with so much else, art is a matter of taste and our mix of exhibitions always has much to offer.     

On November 21st, we were pleased to open four new exhibitions that celebrate the heritage of Boston Expressionism.  David Aronson: The Paradox (1941-1964), and Gerry Bergstein: Effort at Speech (1980-2009), are significant survey exhibitions allowing us to view artistic development over a period of time. Henry Schwartz, The Eternal Footman and Morgan Bulkeley: Who’s the Daddy? explore the effects of culture on the individual. Although each exhibition is different, all are linked. Seen together, these new exhibits consider the rich history of painting in our region—a history that is both important and unique.

We have been thankful for the growing interest in Museum exhibitions that showcase regional artists. However, we need help in order to continue doing so. Please take this opportunity to support our efforts with a year end, tax deductible donation to our Annual Fund. We hope that you are able to visit the Museum soon, and many times throughout the coming year.  Thank you.     
                                                                                                     
Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art       

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Director's Note - October 2009


The Economic Picture

It’s been over a year since troubling events shook confidence in the economy. Like many other museum directors in the last year, I’ve become increasingly focused on the financial picture. However, I’m happy to report fiscal success as we approach our October 27th Annual Meeting.  Despite the challenges of an uncertain economy, we look forward with renewed optimism. We have many reasons to celebrate. 

In the past, the Museum's lack of endowment seemed like bad news. However, unlike other larger institutions we did not lose money this year. We worked hard and succeeded in raising the funds necessary to meet our 1.4 million dollar annual operating budget. We’re used to taking a fiscally conservative approach to spending. Over the past twelve months, concentration on Museum finances has yielded remarkable results.

At the end of fiscal year, the Museum had a small surplus. Museum membership and attendance rose, with a $6,000 increase in attendance revenue for January 2009 when compared to the same month of the previous year.  Private collectors made significant donations of art to the Museum’s permanent collection, and donations grew over 10%.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone whose support has allowed the Museum to realize growth during a time of economic turmoil.  We are heartened by this show of consumer confidence in the Museum as a cultural resource. However, we would also like to state a need for continued support—support that builds for the future.  Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the Danforth Museum and Museum School. Your support not only helps the Museum, but also helps foster arts within the community.

Art sustains us. It defines who we are as individuals, and who we are as a culture.  Art renews and inspires, and this past year that has become needed more than ever.  There has never been a better time to become engaged by a museum, and the Danforth Museum of Art is one of the best. Please make plans to visit us soon. 

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - September 2009


Hyman Bloom
Hyman Bloom

Remembering Hyman Bloom

It is with deep sadness that I note the passing of Hyman Bloom, a brilliant painter whose complex visions were featured in the Danforth Museum of Art’s 2006 exhibition A Spiritual Embrace. Over the past year, I had been working with the artist to reorganize this show for travel, and had just received word that work had arrived safely at the Yeshiva Museum when learning of his death.  The New York City reopening of A Spiritual Embrace on September 14 will serve as a poignant reminder of Bloom’s greatness as a painter. Without him, our view of the world would be vastly different.   

Over the course of a long career spanning more than eight decades, Bloom created stunning works that shaped the course of American art—remarkable when considering that he began life in pre-revolutionary Russia before immigrating to the United States. He took drawing classes in West End settlement houses of Boston before finishing studies at the MFA and Harvard, and struggled as a Works Progress Administration artist during the Depression before exhibiting in a prestigious show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1942. Together with friend and fellow artist Jack Levine, he defined post war painting in America. He was greatly admired by Willem de Kooning, who later said that he and Jackson Pollock considered Hyman Bloom to be “the first Abstract Expressionist in America.”

It’s ironic that Bloom’s insistence on working representationally caused him to be eclipsed by the rise of abstraction. But this eclipse was temporary.  Painters, usually more intelligent than critics, were profoundly inspired by Bloom and maintained strong interest in his work. In recent years, he received increased critical attention, and I am not alone in believing Hyman Bloom to be one of the most important painters of the 20th century. 

Bloom believed in the power of art to triumph over death, a power derived from his spiritual embrace of memory and imagination. When someone asked how long I had known the artist, and I was surprised to consider it had been little more than five years. Yet, as a person interested in how we visualize human experience, I’ve been acquainted with him for some time.  And, like many others, I will continue to know him for some time to come.

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

Related Materials

Hyman Bloom, 96; painted works of grisly Expressionism
by Christine Temin, The Boston Globe, August 28, 2009

Hyman Bloom (film trailer, run time 7min16sec)
Directed, Produced and Co-Written by Angelica Allande Brisk
Edited by Alexandra Isabel de Gonzalez

Hyman Bloom Exhibition at Yeshiva University
The Legacy of Boston Expressionism

By Charles Giuliano, Berkshire Fine Arts, September 9, 2009

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Director's Note - Summer 2009


Danforth Museum of Art exterior
The Danforth Museum of Art

Museum Commits to Framingham

It’s been a challenging year, and the Danforth Museum of Art found itself in good company with other non profits forced to navigate difficult waters.  This was made clear when I attended a special seminar at the Harvard Business School in July. Thanks to a scholarship from the Harvard Business Alumni Association, I joined more than 180 other non profit leaders for a week long program entitled Strategic Perspectives for Non Profit Management run by Harvard’s Social Enterprise Initiative.

This unique opportunity brought together individuals from all over the world—directors of such diverse organizations as Engineers Without Borders; the Flying Doctors of Australia; Both the British and Scottish Libraries; as well as many different chapters of the Nature Conservancy; Big Brother, Big Sister; and Habitats for Humanity.  During this intense, challenging and ultimately invigorating seminar, I was able to step beyond day to day concerns of running the Museum and consider larger strategic issues, as well as the future of the Museum itself.

The seminar could not have come at a better time.  Recent votes by the Museum Trustees demonstrate a clear commitment to remain in our current location.  As a result of building feasibility and marketing studies, and some comparative bench marking and strategic planning, Trustees concluded our June meeting in votes to pursue a long term lease with the Town of Framingham and begin renovation of the Danforth Building.  As many of you know, these historic votes mark only the beginning of work needed to realize our goal of a beautifully renovated Museum in the heart of Framingham.  Our aging facility presents numerous challenges, but we are confident of success.  Despite a troubled economy, the Museum has grown during a year when we might have considered ourselves lucky to hold steady.  A clear sense of mission, as well as outstanding exhibitions and educational programming, has resulted in increased attendance for the Museum and growing enrollment in the Museum School.  We have the potential for a bright future. 

As a non profit, we have the opportunity to make a real difference.  Here at the Danforth Museum of Art, we strive not only to run an efficient and cost effective organization.  We also work to provide social value.  Art has the power to transform lives.  It can alter the way we see the world, and help us to envision a future filled with great promise.  Please join me in helping to realize that future.  There has never been a better time to become involved. 

Sincerely,

Katherine French, Director
Danforth Museum of Art

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Director's Note - June 2009


Ilana Manolson, Spring, 2008
Ilana Manolson, Spring, 2008
oil on board
Courtesy of the Artist

Summer has always marked a time of increased activity at the Museum, and this year promises to be no different.  On Saturday, May 30th, 150 artists and patrons attended our Off the Wall Patron’s Benefit Event, which raised nearly $15,000 in support of Museum exhibits and programming, and on Wednesday, June 3, more than 375 came to celebrate the opening of what has been recognized as an outstanding showcase for both established and emerging artists.  Recent reviews have praised work juried by Carroll and Sons Director Joseph Carroll and Mass College of Art Curator Lisa Tung (see review). It is significant that so many artists and curators have become engaged in the Museum over these past four years, a sign that the Danforth Museum of Art is a venue for not only for historically important exhibits, but also for new and exciting art. 

Our continued commitment to the region will also be apparent in the New England Photography Biennial, recently juried by former Art New England editor Barbara O’Brien and PEM Curator of Photography Philip Prodger, and scheduled to open this September.  While many museums are choosing to pursue a national or global focus, the Danforth Museum of Art recognizes what can happen in the immediate neighborhood.  On June 1, the Danforth Museum of Art began a collaboration with the New England Wild Flower Society for the Artist Pass Program that will allow artists to work from nature at the NEWFS’s Garden in the Woods in Framingham, as well as sign up for special master classes through the Danforth Museum School with such renowned artists as Jane Goldman, Jon Imber, Ilana Manolson, and George Nick.  We anticipate that some of the work produced in the program will eventually find its way into a future Museum exhibition—proving that we need look no further than our own back yard to discover some of the very best contemporary work available anywhere.

These new master classes are a natural outgrowth of the programming already available in the Danforth Museum School—programming that is partially responsible for the rich variety of art currently being produced in the New England area.  Education Director Pat Walker, twice named Museum Educator of the Year for the state of Massachusetts, has steadily introduced new educational opportunities.  In addition to our regular adult and children’s classes, we offer high school portfolio classes and professional development for teachers that train successive generations of artists.  Education has always been central to what we do here at the Museum, and a recent $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts recognizes our success in this area.  Here at the Danforth Museum of Art, we not only cultivate an audience that is engaged in looking at art.  We also cultivate an audience that is engaged in making art.  Please join us, and become part of a dynamic conversation that will enrich your life in unexpected ways.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Director's Note - May 2009


Meta Warrick Fuller, Bust of A Woman, n.d.
Meta Warrick Fuller, Bust of A Woman, n.d.
unfired clay
Collection Danforth Museum of Art

May is Museum Membership Month, as well as a month that encourages us to consider new growth.  Once again the Danforth Museum of Art has been selected for participation in Bank of America's Museums on Us Program, which ensures an increasing number of new visitors.  Partnerships with Framingham State College and the Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN) continue. Finally, we are very excited by news of a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which will fund collaboration between the Museum and the Framingham Public Schools to develop a curriculum based on our collection of work by the African American sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller.  Despite a troubled economy, the Museum continues to thrive....

Our challenge now is to create a facility that matches the quality of what we do at the Museum.  Last year’s grant from the MCC’s Cultural Facilities Fund helped realize a building feasibility study with Ann Beha Architects, as well as a marketing study with Schueble Communications.  A team from the Harvard Business School Alumni Association’s Community Action Program (CAP) recently completed work on a strategic plan, and a team of Harvard Business School graduate students will soon present a benchmarking study.  All provide the basis of conversations we’ve begun with the Town of Framingham about the future of the Danforth Building—and the future of the Museum. 

What has become increasingly clear is that the Museum has a bright future.  Like all cultural organizations we are struggling in the face of diminished corporate and foundation support, but unlike other museums we have not made staff reductions.  To do so, would be to create a mini recession of our own.  Instead, the Danforth Museum of Art has maintained steady growth during a time of uncertainty—truly making us “the little economic engine that could.”

However, we need your help in order to continue.  During the month of April, Museum Trustees and Overseers raised more than $27,000 to help keep staff in place.  We are now asking friends and members to make a similar investment to ensure that we continue to make art part of your life.  Please join others who believe that we need the arts now more than ever.  Become a member or increase your membership level.  Attend the Off the Wall Benefit on Saturday, May 30th.  Make a contribution to our Annual Fund
Your support is vital, and we very much appreciate whatever you can do.  Thank you!

Katherine French, Director
May 2009

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Director's Note - April 2009


Framingham Reads Together, 2009
Image: poster and layout by Kris McElman
Courtesy Framingham Public Library

Has the Museum added value to your life?

For hundreds of supporters who have already completed the Danforth Museum of Art and Museum School Survey, the answer is yes!   Preliminary results help explain the reason for an increase in attendance, Museum School enrollment, and participation in such events as Over the Moon, which recently raised more than $28,000 in support of educational programs for children.  The Museum has become a force among New England Museums and our Museum School is comparable to the top arts education programs in the country.   We intend to continue, but realize that we need your help.

Like many directors of non profits, I have learned a great deal from the events of the past months.  Newspaper reports only confirm what I have learned from experience.  Despite growing critical recognition and steady enrollment in the Museum School, the Museum has seen a drop in foundation and corporate support.  The sobering reality of our current economic climate has encouraged us to reduce expenses, while continuing to offer real value through outstanding exhibitions and educational programs.  To do otherwise would be to create a small recession of our own. 

Preliminary results from our focus groups and online survey tell us how much you appreciate what the Museum offers, as well as museum staff that make it possible.  The people who work at the Museum and Museum School are not only friendly, helpful and efficient.  They are also essential to operations.  We need them in place at this critical time.  As we face the challenges of the current economy and anticipate the coming year, we join other non-profits and cultural institutions in making difficult budgetary decisions.  We need your support now more important than ever.

Take a moment to reflect upon the value of the Museum, and consider making a gift to an institution that adds real quality to life.  We are entering an exciting time in our 35 year history in Framingham, and your gift will preserve the kind of institution you have come to love and respect.  We will be profoundly grateful for your support.

Katherine French, Director
April 2009

Ps. If you have not yet completed our Danforth Museum of Art and Museum School Survey, please do so now!  This confidential online survey takes just 5 minutes.  You not only share ideas, but also have the chance to compete for your choice of the following raffle prizes:  4 tickets to Boston Pops Film Night at Tanglewood, tickets to the Boston Ballet, or a $150 gift certificate to Il Capriccio Restaurant in Waltham. The survey will close on Friday, April 10 and the raffle winner will be notified by May 13.  Don’t miss this opportunity to help shape the future of your Museum.

›› Contribute to the Annual Fund Now.

Related Articles

Arts Groups Lose Out in Fight for Funds
By Mike Spector, The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2009

Taking a Step by Step Approach to Growth
By Hilarie M. Sheets, The New York Times, March 16, 2009

The Danforth's Blumer Fund has Helped Fund Important Projects at the Museum
By John Hillard, The MetroWest Daily News/Framingham TAB, March 24, 2009

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Director's Note - March 2009


Susan L. Roth, Detail from Listen to the Wind.., 2008
Susan L. Roth
Detail from Listen to the Wind, 2008, Courtesy of the Artist

Spirit of Community 

Community is central to what we do at the Danforth Museum of Art.  Since 1975 the Museum and Museum School have worked to connect all members of our diverse audience through truly outstanding programs and exhibits, and our success can be measured.  During the winter season approximately 5,000 visitors came to the Museum to see Faith Ringgold and other related exhibits, and membership increased by 5%.  Despite the challenges of a troubled economy, the Museum is growing. 
 
Collaboration is one of the ways we sustain and grow community, and some upcoming exhibits reflect this.  The four artists in Material Drawing work closely together, as did children’s book illustrator Susan Roth and Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortensen to create the companion book Listen to the Wind.  In fact, the exhibit of Roth’s collages telling the story of group efforts to build a girls’ school in Pakistan, is the result of the Museum’s involvement in the Town Library’s Framingham Reads initiative.  Working together enables us to accomplish great things-and grow stronger by our efforts. 
 
Our next two fundraising events recognize the spirit of community upon which the Museum was founded.  On March 21st we were pleased to host Over the Moon, a benefit celebration for the Deborah D. Blumer Fund in support of educational programming at the Museum.  And on May 30th we will hold a Patron’s Preview for the exhibitions Off the Wall and A Community of Artists, member exhibitions that reflect an important part of our audience.  At a time when many museums have stopped featuring work by regional artists, the Danforth Museum of Art will continue-not only because these artists are members of our community, but also because they produce some of the best work available to a contemporary audience.  As we’ve continually found throughout the history of the Museum, a commitment to community does not limit us.  Instead, it increases the possibility for us to do great things.

Katherine French, Director
March 2009

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Director's Note - February 2009


Faith Ringgold, Le Cafe des Artistes, 1994
Le Cafe des Artistes
(The French Collection, Part II: #11), 1994
acrylic on canvas with fabric boarders, 79 1/2 x 90 inches
Private Collection

A Matter of Trust

Along with many others, I’ve watched developing events at the Rose Art Museum with concern.  While it’s impossible for me to judge another institution, I can speak to what happens at the Danforth Museum of Art. As a non profit, we are charged with serving the public good.  As an art museum, we fulfill this obligation by collecting and preserving works of art.  This is what we do, and what we will continue to do—regardless of the challenges of an aging building or troubled economy. Art can be bought and sold, but its real value lies in its ability to inspire us to think beyond our immediate situation.  Troubled times demand creative solutions, and we need to look no further than our permanent collection to see good examples of creative thinking.     

In the past year, collectors have gifted major works of art to the Museum by important artists including Joan Snyder, Katherine Porter, and Hyman Bloom because they trust that we will care for these works.   Artists work with curators because they trust in our ability to value and interpret creative effort.  Parents enroll children in our Museum School because they trust that we will nurture their artistic development.  We take these responsibilities seriously, and will continue to do so.

Our collection contains nearly 3,500 pieces of art, and lies at the very heart of all that we do.   In return for our tax exempt status, we have promised to make this collection available and accessible.  These are exciting times for the Museum, and we have great plans for the future.  As we near completion of a building feasibility study by Ann Beha Architects and begin a strategic planning process, we will continue to follow strict ethical guidelines set down by the museum profession to insure the accessibility of our collection.  This was a promise that we made more than 30 years ago when the Museum was founded, and this is a promise we intend to keep.

Katherine French, Director
February 2009

Related Articles

AAM Statement on the Closure of the Rose Museum at Brandeis University, 1/29/09

NEMA's Response to Brandeis Decision to Close the Rose Art Museum

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Director's Note - January 2009


Esther Pullman, Private Estate Greenhous, Winter, 2005
Esther Pullman
Private Estate Greenhouse, Winter, 2005

photographic C-print
Collection Danforth Museum of Art

One of the truly great things about my job is getting to thank people, and I’m happy to begin the New Year by doing just that. During the month of December, members and friends contributed more than $45,000 to the Annual Fund. Help us reach $50,000 before January 31, 2009. It's not too late. Please make a donation today

This support is greatly appreciated, and ensures continued growth at a significant time. During the month of January, Ann Beha Architects will present the results of a building feasibility study; the Museum and the Town of Framingham will meet to discuss the possibility of a long term lease; and Trustees will begin a strategic planning process to determine the future of an organization that celebrates art and the creation of art.

Art sustains human existence, and this is particularly true during times of economic uncertainty. Art educates people of all ages, and inspires us to grow as a culture. If you have not yet had the opportunity to make a contribution, please join others who believe that art truly adds to our lives in an important way. We need art more than ever right now, and your support is vital. Thank you!

Katherine French, Director
January 2009

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Director's Note - December 2008


Esther Pullman, Spring, Private Estate, Wellesley, MA, 2006
Esther Pullman
Spring, Private Estate, 2006
Wellesley, Massachusetts
photographic C-print
Courtesy of the Artist

This has been a significant year for the Museum.  In the past twelve months we have achieved visible success with critically acclaimed exhibitions and programs and these efforts have been publicly recognized.  The Massachusetts Arts Education Collaborative named the Danforth Museum of Art Outstanding Cultural Organization for 2008 and Bank of America selected us for participation in their Museums on Us™ Program.  Museum membership and Museum School enrollment have increased dramatically, and individual and corporate support has been significant.  Despite the challenge of an unsettled economy, we entertain great hope for the coming year. 

Within the next few months Ann Beha Architects will complete a building feasibility study funded by donations from generous individuals and a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund.  Our new data base will increase organizational capacity through on-line class registrations, donations, and purchases.  Trustees are poised to begin a strategic planning process with help from graduate students and an alumni team of Community Action Partners (CAP) from the Harvard Business School.

However, many acquainted with the Museum know that we face critical concerns about our facility.  In the coming year, this situation will be addressed.  Results from the Beha study will inform strategic planning.  We begin discussions with the Town of Framingham in January regarding the future of the Danforth Building, and the possibility of a long term lease.  Whether we decide to remain in our current facility or choose to go elsewhere, this will be a decisive year.  By next December, we will not only report on our considerable success, but also on some clear plans for the future.

Katherine French, Director
December 2008

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Director's Note - November 2008


This month we would like to extend special thanks to the more than 300 people who attended the Museum's benefit event, A Matter of Taste, which raised more than $15,000 in support of exhibitions and programming, as well as brought together our community to enjoy different exhibits while sampling a selection of wines from around the world.  Through a mix of art and social engagement, we become less isolated-and meaningfully engaged by the opportunity to share an experience.    
 
The Museum offers many such opportunities.  Corporate supporters and members of the business community attend events throughout the year like our annual Corporate Breakfast, corporate receptions and the recent Metrowest Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, sponsored by our corporate partner Danforth Associates.  Educational partners ensure that students can visit on a regular basis.  Member artists submit work to our annual members' exhibition, or visit with friends.  Parents bring children to art activities or classes in the Museum School.  However, the majority of our visitors participate by coming to visit our galleries.    
 
Historic results from the recent election lend special meaning to upcoming exhibitions, which celebrate the diverse vision of several African American artists including the prominent 19th century sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller; renowned painter and printmaker Jacob Lawrence; internationally recognized artist Faith Ringgold; and the emerging painter Sedrick Huckaby.  Become more involved with the Danforth Museum of Art by coming to the opening reception for all these shows on Saturday, November 22 from 6-8 pm.  You will be inspired by the art, and sustained by a sense of community.  We hope to see you soon.

Katherine French, Director
November 2008

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Director's Note - October 2008


Like everyone else in the country, we’ve watched recent events with interest.  We know that the Museum not only enhances cultural and educational life for the community, but also that we’re important to the economy itself.  Together with other cultural organizations, we contribute nearly two billion dollars to cultural tourism.  We may be small, but our impact is significant.  And the good news is that despite financial unrest on Wall Street, the Museum has been doing well. 

In July the Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded the Museum a $37,500 grant from the state’s Cultural Facilities Fund to begin a feasibility study on the Danforth Building with Ann Beha Architects.  A required 1:1 match to the MCC grant was met within the first month.  Summer enrollment in art classes exceeded expectations, and revenue from the Museum School has increased nearly $100,000 since last year.  The Museum has welcomed a growing number of visitors, and noted increased memberships and sales from the Museum Shop.  During the month of September, private donors have contributed more than $60,000 to the Museum.  Artists and collectors have contributed major works to our permanent collection.  Investor confidence in the Museum not only appears stable, but seems to be growing. 

One indicator of this confidence is increased corporate support.  Corporate sponsorship is vital to the Museum’s economic well being, and we are pleased to honor our corporate members at our upcoming corporate breakfast on Tuesday, October 7. This year’s keynote speaker is Jason Schupbach, the newly appointed Creative Economy Industry Director at the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.  Businesses have begun to view the arts as crucial to strategic philanthropy, and the Danforth Museum of Art is pleased to be part of this effort.

While we will continue to watch the economy, we begin the year with cautious optimism.  Results from the building feasibility study will help us make decisions about much needed repairs to the Danforth Building—repairs that are necessary despite the state of the financial market.  We would like to thank everyone whose support has allowed the Museum to realize unprecedented growth during a time when this might not have seemed possible.  However, we will need your continued support, if we are to survive. 

Art sustains human activity, and helps us grow as a culture.  Art educates, renews and inspires. 
We need art more than ever right now, and there has never been a better time to visit the Museum. 
We hope to see you all soon.

Katherine French, Director
October 2008
      

Related Articles:
"Museums and arts groups brace for dip in donations"
By Geoff Edgers, The Boston Globe, October 5, 2008

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