The Thompson Family Foundation’s latest gift caps the $15.3 million required to fund the exhibition building and the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle project. This fundraising effort was scheduled to conclude on December 31.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued generosity and confidence in the future direction of the Museum that the Thompson family has demonstrated with this gift,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “Their support has been critical to the genesis and completion of the transformation of the Museum’s grounds and our capability to usher in a ‘New Era for Exhibitions’ at Mystic Seaport.”
The Thompson Building is the cornerstone and final element of the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle, a project which integrated existing buildings and grounds with new construction and unified the buildings of the north end of the Museum by focusing on their common role as formal exhibition galleries.
Wade Thompson was a Mystic Seaport trustee for 27 years who believed passionately in the need for contemporary exhibition space and its importance for the future of the Museum. The Thompson Building houses the Collins Gallery, a 5,000-square-foot hall featuring soaring ceilings and a flexible layout that provides the caliber of conditions required to curate not only exhibits from the Mystic Seaport collections, but also permit the borrowing of outstanding art and artifacts from other museums around the world.
“We are deeply appreciative to all donors who made extraordinary gifts to complete this ambitious project so vital to the Museum’s future sustainability and institutional growth, many of whom were inspired by Wade Thompson and his family’s example of philanthropy,” said Elisabeth Saxe, the Museum’s vice president for advancement.
The first exhibit to be featured in the Thompson Building will be “Sea-Change,” a dramatic presentation of a range of beautiful and unique objects drawn from the collections of Mystic Seaport. A special grouping of these intriguing artifacts will be on display for the first time, and all will be presented in a new setting which reveals surprising stories of transformation that continue to impact a contemporary audience and its experience with the sea. The exhibit opens on December 10.
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