The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, once dubbed by the New York Times as one of the most beautiful art galleries in the world, received a more tangible form of recognition last week.
U.S. Rep. Martin Olav Sabo, D-Minn., announced that the museum will receive $112,500 from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The Weisman was one of fewer than 200 recipients nationwide of a general operating support award. Institute representative Giuliana Bullard said less than a quarter of the applicants received the award.
“Others were noncompetitive,” Bullard said. “This one wasn’t.”
The Weisman received the highest amount of any museum in its category, which includes such galleries as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, said Weisman director Lyndel King.
A committee of museum staff members nationwide selected recipients based on financial, administrative and artistic merit.
Weisman representative Karen Casanova said Weisman officials appreciate the national recognition.
“We’re thrilled,” Casanova said. “The vote of confidence is very much appreciated.”
Weisman officials will use the award money for a variety of ongoing expenses, including research, educational programs, exhibitions and travel during the next few years.
“It’s the best kind of money you can get,” King said. “It’s such a help and it’s so rare.”
King added that the grant’s long-term benefits are priceless.
“It will make a big difference in our ability to plan,” she said. When the Weisman received a similar award four years ago, she said, it enabled museum staff to strengthen their long-term goals.
Of the $22 million appropriated for the museum and library institute programs this year, Minnesota museums received almost $400,000.