The Smithsonian American Art Museum has received a $10 million gift from Nan Tucker McEvoy of San Francisco to help fund the ambitious renovation of the Old Patent Office Building, which houses the museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The renovated building is exepected to reopen in 2004.
"We are working zealously to renovate and reopen the historic Old Patent Office Building," said Smithsonian secretary Lawrence M. Small. "Nan McEvoy's extremely generous contribution takes us significantly closer to that goal, and enables the Smithsonian American Art Museum to dramatically enhance the public's overall experience. Thousands of visitors interested in the story of America as told through its visual arts will flock to this museum when it reopens, and they will be thrilled with the results."
McEvoy, a supporter of the museum for nearly 20 years, joined the museum's commission in 1979. She has been an emeritus member of the commission since 1996. In recognition of McEvoy's gift the Smithsonian board of regents voted to name the building's new auditorium the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium.
"All my life I have been enriched and reward by American art," said McEvoy. "I am gratified that with this gift more peple will have access to learning about the story of America and their heritage."
This is the second $10 million donation to the museum this year. On Jan. 24, the museum announced a similar contribution from the Henry Luce Foundation to establish the Luce Foundation Center for American Art.