Press Release

PAFA Receives $2M Gift to Endow and Name Museum Curatorial Position

PAFA receives transformational $2 million gift from a National Trustee to name and endow the Kenneth R. Woodcock Curator of Historical American Art

PHILADELPHIA (June 8, 2020) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a gift totaling $2 million from National Trustee Ken Woodcock. This generous gift will endow the museum's Curator of Historical American Art position, which will henceforth be named The Kenneth R. Woodcock Curator of Historical American Art. This position is currently held by Dr. Anna O. Marley.

A National Trustee since 2015, Mr. Woodcock's previous generous support of PAFA includes a major gift to name the Dorothy & Kenneth Woodcock Archives, which maintains documents, photographs, and other vital materials that chronicle PAFA's 215-year history; as well as major support for PAFA's capital campaign, PAFA First: For the Future of American Art. Mr. and Mrs. Woodcock have lent work from their extensive personal collection of historical American art to PAFA for past exhibitions, including Black Eyed Susans (before 1922) by Lilian Westcott Hale for the 2015 exhibition Gardens on Paper, and A Pond by the Sea (1883) by Gabrielle de Veaux Clements for Etch and Flow, in 2019. Mr. Woodcock also serves on the Museum's Collections Committee.

"PAFA maintains a distinguished and enduring legacy as a national leader in the collection, study, and exhibition of historical American art," said Ken Woodcock. "This has been the case since PAFA's founding in 1805, and recent exhibitions and acquisitions prove that it holds true today. It is a pleasure and a privilege to endow this curatorial position, and to play a role in ensuring that this legacy endures into the future."

Recent major exhibitions of historical American art at PAFA include From the Schuylkill to the Hudson: Landscapes of the Early American Republic and World War I and Art. PAFA is home to a world-renowned permanent collection that spans the breadth of American art, including historical masterworks by Benjamin West, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Cecilia Beaux, and Henry Ossawa Tanner, among many others.

Kevin F. Donohoe, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said, "As befits its purpose, this is a truly historic gift for PAFA. Ken has enriched the institution with his generosity, which will no doubt allow PAFA to embark on even greater and more ambitious projects in the field of historical American art. On behalf of the Board and all his fellow Trustees, we are deeply grateful."

"In the context of our challenging and uncertain contemporary moment, it is such a joy for PAFA to receive this forward-looking gift, which will help to ensure that the institution continues to thrive," said Brooke Davis Anderson, the Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum. "PAFA's mission is to tell the full and sweeping story of American art, and the work of the Kenneth R. Woodcock Curator of Historical American Art is and will continue to be central to that mission in the years to come."

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.