The University of California, Los Angeles has announced a $1 million gift from longtime supporters Jay and Deborah Last and up to $14 million in matching funds in support of the Fowler Museum at UCLA.
The gift from the Lasts and all contributions to the matching challenge will support the Fowler's global arts programming and outreach along with efforts to make its collections accessible for teaching and research, build a stellar curatorial team, and grow its endowment. The Lasts have made a number of gifts of art to the museum, helped fund construction of its building on the UCLA campus, endowed a Curator of African Arts position, and provided generous annual support.
Jay Last is one of the eight founders, known as the "fathers of Silicon Valley," of Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation. He also founded and is president of Hillcrest Press, a publisher of books dealing with California art, ethnic art, and graphic arts. His collection of more than three hundred artworks from the Lega peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been gifted to the Fowler. Deborah Last holds a bachelor's degree in art history from UCLA and a master's in print journalism from USC.
"Jay and Deborah Last have generously donated more than six hundred and sixty works of art to the Fowler Museum since 1973 and can be counted among the museum's most loyal patrons," said museum director Marla Berns. "The Fowler is committed to programming that opens pathways to understanding the world in all of its diversity as well as its shared humanity. Our role is to use the arts to educate and inspire our UCLA community and people of all ages in Los Angeles and beyond. Jay and Deborah believe strongly in the Fowler's mission and have provided this financial commitment to see the museum thrive and to help secure its future."