The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has announced a gift of more than $80 million from trustee Florence Irving and her late husband, Herbert Irving.
The bequest will establish an unrestricted endowment fund for acquisitions, as well as several endowment funds that the Department of Asian Art can use for acquisitions, exhibitions, and publications featuring the art of China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Himalayas, with a focus on Chinese decorative arts and art from India and Southeast Asia, all fields in which the Irvings were active as collectors.
The couple had supported the Met for over thirty years when, in 2015, they donated a collection of more than twelve hundred works to the Department of Asian Art and endowed a staff position in the Thomas J. Watson Library, the Met's central research library. In 2004, the museum named the Florence and Herbert Irving Asian Wing and numerous other galleries in their honor.
"The Irvings have been inspirational donors in building the museum's collections and galleries of Asian Art since 1987. This additional gift is truly transformative for the Met and will ensure that the legacy of scholarship, programming, and collection-building they have been so instrumental in building will continue to thrive," said Met president and CEO Daniel H. Weiss. "We are profoundly grateful to the Irvings for their tremendous generosity and vision."