Small Liberal Arts College Gets $100 Million Worth Of Art For Its Museum
Feb 7, 2017
Colby College's $15 million Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion, left, opened in 2013, making the Colby College Museum of Art the largest museum in Maine. Staff file photo by Gordon Chibroski
WATERVILLE — The Colby College Museum of Art has received a gift of more than $100 million from longtime supporters Peter and Paula Lunder that college officials say will help cement the region’s reputation as a world-class arts destination.
The donation, the Lunders’ second gift of more than $100 million, includes about 1,500 works of art and will launch the Lunder Institute for American Art, whose focus will be the practice, study and exhibition of American art. As part of the institute, scholars, artists and curators will work with students from all disciplines.
Colby officials say the gift, which was announced Thursday night at a meeting of Colby trustees in Boston, helps establish Colby as the only liberal arts college with a top museum and a global research center dedicated to American art.
“The Lunders’ generosity has transformed Colby College and the arts landscape in Maine,” Colby President David A. Greene said in a statement. “Now, with this gift to significantly expand the collection and create the Lunder Institute, the museum will become a global destination for artists, scholars, and visitors. Colby students and faculty already make use of the museum in innovative ways and this development will expand their opportunities for research and scholarship in all disciplines. We are grateful for Peter and Paula Lunder, for their tremendous commitment to Colby, the Colby museum and the people of Maine.”
The gift announcement comes as Colby is working with the city of Waterville to help revitalize the downtown, boost economic development, build on and enhance arts offerings, and bring more people to live and work downtown. In October, those revitalization efforts got a massive boost when the Harold Alfond Foundation and Colby College officials announced they will put $20 million into projects to launch what eventually will become “tens of millions of dollars more” in downtown investments.