The Asia Society has announced a $2 million grant from the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation to establish a new endowment for the Asia Society Museum in New York City.
The grant will establish the Mary Griggs Burke Fund, which will support exhibition development as well as related educational programing, including a lecture series, at the museum. A longtime supporter of the museum, the St. Paul-based foundation recently provided support for the forthcoming exhibition "Kamakura: Realism and Spirituality in the Sculpture of Japan," which will include works from the collection of Mary Griggs Burke now in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Born in 1916 and raised in St. Paul, Mary Burke has written that a kimono obtained by her mother, Mary Livingston Griggs, during a trip to Japan in 1902 was the origin of her fascination with Japanese and Asian art. Over the years, Burke made thirty trips to Japan and began collecting Japanese art objects with her husband Jackson Burke, eventually building a collection of more than a thousand objects from East Asia over five decades. The collection generally has been recognized as one of the most important collections of Japanese art in private hands outside Japan.
"This generous, transformative gift from the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation will allow [the] Asia Society Museum to bring greater resources to bear in the design of its world-class exhibition program," said Asia Society president Josette Sheeran.