Press Release

Ellsworth Kelly Foundation Awards $100,000 Challenge Grant

Saratoga Springs, NY

Grant Supports Creation of Endowment for Conservation of Tang's Collection as part of Institution's Continued Growth in 15th Anniversary Year

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, known for its innovative interdisciplinary exhibitions and arts programs, has received a $100,000 challenge grant from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation. The grant kick-starts fundraising for an endowment to support conservation and care of the more than 7,000 works in the Tang collection, which is primarily focused on contemporary art and also includes objects from across time periods and cultures.

The Tang combines intellectual inquiry and scholarship with a dynamic approach that reveals unexpected connections between the works in its collection, reexamines preconceived ideas, and generates new perspectives. One example of this type of programming is the upcoming exhibition Affinity Atlas (September 5, 2015 – January 3, 2016), which will combine contemporary works of art and a “cabinet of curiosities” selected from the collection, with rotating displays by Skidmore faculty to forge surprising relationships between the objects on display.

“The Tang’s mission revolves around ideas—from that starting point, the world of objects opens up,” said Ian Berry, Dayton Director of the Tang Teaching Museum. “This generous grant from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation will help enable us to steward these objects now and into the future, and is all the more critical as we grow our collection. Ellsworth Kelly is a critically influential artist and exceptionally dedicated to our region, and we are honored and deeply grateful to him and Ellsworth Kelly Foundation Director Jack Shear for this important grant, and their long-time friendship and support of the Tang.”

"The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation is committed to helping organizations bolster and share artistic and educational resources, and we are delighted to support the Tang in the conservation and care of its collection,” said Foundation Director Jack Shear. “The Museum’s holdings foster teaching and learning for Skidmore, for the region, and for visitors from around the world. The Foundation is pleased to help ensure its protection and preservation, so that it is available to students, scholars, and the public for generations to come.”

As it celebrates its 15th anniversary, the Tang continues to grow its collection with a focus on strengthening its contemporary holdings. Recent acquisitions include 75 works of contemporary art from the collection of computer programmer and philanthropist Peter Norton. Exhibitions during the anniversary celebration include Opener 29: Arturo Herrera, (June 6 – August 30, 2015), featuring new works from the Berlin-based artist’s recent body of abstract paintings for which he selected small books from flea markets, manipulating and altering the found objects; Machine Project — The Platinum Collection (Live by Special Request), (September 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016), which will feature a series of interventions, performances, and happenings created for the Tang by Skidmore alumnus Mark Allen in collaboration with his Los Angeles-based collective Machine Project; and Alma Thomas: A Retrospective (February 6 – June 5, 2016), which will explore the work of this influential but sometimes-overlooked artist in the first museum survey of her work since 2001.

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Installation view of 'I was a double.' Photo by Arthur Evans.

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