Harvard University has announced a $10 million gift from alumnus Maryellie Kulukundis Johnson ('57) and her husband, Rupert H. Johnson, Jr., in support of the creative arts at the university.
The gift, which includes $5 million for the university's President's Fund and $5 million in support of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, is expected to shape the future of theater, the visual and performing arts, music, film, video, and writing at Harvard — while enhancing the experiences of students, faculty, fellows, and the public.
The Radcliffe portion of the gift, which will trigger a $2.5 million match from the Radcliffe endowment, will enable the institute to transform its gallery in Byerly Hall into an arts laboratory with flexible space for exhibitions by visual artists and scholars who work in a variety of media. In recognition of the gift, the facility, which will be significantly enlarged and improved as a result, will be named the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery. In addition, the gift will endow a faculty position — the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Faculty Director of the Arts at the Radcliffe Institute — now held by Yukio Lippit, a professor of history of art and architecture in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
The portion of the gift earmarked for the President's Fund will support initiatives such as "art intensives" during the university's winter session, internships and curriculum development, and visiting artists. It also will establish an endowed fellowship for a doctoral student in the arts during the first years of his or her advanced study.
"Creative arts are a gift in themselves and also for what they contribute to deeper knowledge in other disciplines," said Lizabeth Cohen, dean of the Radcliffe Institute. "The contribution of the arts to critical thinking is a hallmark of Radcliffe's past, an important feature of the Radcliffe Institute today, and — with this gift — an even more significant part of our future. The generosity of the Johnson-Kulukundis family furthers our mission to generate and share daring and exciting work across all fields."