Herzfeld Foundation gives $3.5 million to Milwaukee Art Museum’s photography program

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The Milwaukee-based Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation has pledged $3.5 million to the Milwaukee Art Museum in support of the museum’s photography program.

The gift will support the position of the Herzfeld Foundation Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the museum in perpetuity. It brings the foundation’s total support of the Milwaukee Art Museum to over $9.9 million.

“The Herzfeld Foundation believes that an endowment provides a long term, secure and sustainable financial base, which along with the great space of the Herzfeld Center, will attract and retain the top talent needed to continue building a prestigious collection and mount great exhibitions,” Bill and Carmen Haberman of the Herzfeld Foundation said in a statement.

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Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum

Previous gifts from the foundation established the Herzfeld Photography, Print, and Drawing Study Center in 2001; founded the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts, an integrated exhibition space dedicated to photography and film, video and light installation in 2015; and supported more than 60 exhibitions and the acquisition of nearly 400 photographs for the permanent collection at the Milwaukee Art Museum since 1985.

“The legacy of Richard and Ethel Herzfeld and the thoughtful stewardship and leadership of the foundation by Carmen and William Haberman have enriched the museum, the community and the region,” said Marcelle Polednik, the Donna and Donald Baumgartner director of the Milwaukee Art Museum. “Their generosity not only acts as a foundation, but also as a role model for future generations to come.”

The new position is the most recent of several endowed positions at the museum, including the Barbara Brown Lee Senior Curator of Education and Programs in 2013 and, in 2016, underwriting for both the Abert Family Curator of American Art and the Donald and Donna Baumgartner Director.

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