Dorothy McIlvain Scott and Stiles Tuttle Colwill. Photo by Howard Korn.
Dorothy McIlvain Scott and Stiles Tuttle Colwill. Photo by Howard Korn.

Largest individual gift in Museum’s history will support the American Wing

BALTIMORE, MD (January 17, 2007) — BMA Board Chair Stiles T. Colwill announced today that The Baltimore Museum of Art has received an unprecedented $10 million promised gift from Miss Dorothy McIlvain Scott to endow operations and programs for the American Wing. This transformational gift is the largest individual gift in the museum’s history and the culmination of Miss Scott’s decades of exceptionally generous community philanthropy.

The American Wing, designed by the great neoclassical architect John Russell Pope, houses the BMA’s magnificent collection of American decorative arts and painting and sculpture. The $10 million endowment gift will support virtually every aspect of this important area of the collection—from conservation, publications and exhibitions to security and utilities. In recognition of this extraordinary gift, the American Wing will be named the Dorothy McIlvain Scott Wing and dedicated in memory of Miss Scott’s parents T. Quincy and Jane E. Scott, her grandparents Alexander and Elizabeth Anderson McIlvain, and her uncles Alexander A. McIlvain and John McIlvain. The formal dedication will take place at BMA’s Annual Meeting in June 2007.

“I have a lifetime of wonderful memories of visiting The Baltimore Museum of Art,” said Miss Scott. “I am delighted this gift will have such a significant impact on an institution for which my family and I have cared so deeply.”

A native of Baltimore who was born in 1912, Miss Scott has been a lifelong Member as well as a Trustee and Honorary Trustee of the Museum for more than 30 years. In 1981 she endowed a suite of galleries in the American Wing dedicated to the memory of her uncle Alexander A. McIlvain. These galleries showcase her outstanding collection of 18th- and 19th-century American furniture and other decorative arts, which have and will come to the Museum as gifts and promised gifts. Miss Scott is an active member of both the Decorative Arts Accession Committee and the Friends of the American Wing. She has also supported the acquisition and conservation of works of art, underwritten exhibitions such as Art of the Ballets Russes in 2003, and served as honorary chair of the Museum’s 90th anniversary celebration in 2004.

“With this exceptional gift, Dorothy McIlvain Scott joins the legendary cadre of great women philanthropists at The Baltimore Museum of Art—Claribel and Etta Cone, Mary Frick Jacobs, and Saidie A. May—each of whom donated outstanding collections and have gallery wings named after them,” said BMA Board Chair Stiles T. Colwill. “Substantial gifts like this extend the extraordinary legacy of this distinguished group and help us secure the BMA’s future.”

“An endowment gift of this unprecedented scale will help sustain the BMA’s growth and vitality for generations to come,” said BMA Director Doreen Bolger. ”We are very excited and extremely grateful for this opportunity to dedicate the American Wing in Miss Scott’s honor and in the memory of her family.”

About the Baltimore Museum of Art

Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.

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