Anchorage Museum Expansion (Image courtesy the Anchorage Museum, credit: McCool McCarlson Green)
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January 11, 2016
Contact: Cassandra Stalzer, 907-223-9908

Anchorage, Alaska – Rasmuson Foundation announced today that it had made the largest grant in the Foundation’s history – $12 million for a major expansion of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.

“Elmer and Mary Louise Rasmuson were instrumental in the creation and growth of the museum,” said Diane Kaplan, president of Rasmuson Foundation. “From its inception, to their first contributions, to the legacy left from their estates, Elmer and Mary Louise were convinced of the benefits that a museum would bring to Anchorage and Alaska. To this day, the Rasmuson family has great involvement with the Museum. This grant, and its significance in the Foundation’s history, extend and honor that family legacy.”

The expansion will add approximately 25,000 square feet and address multiple needs of the museum. It will create more permanent gallery space for pieces from the collection currently in storage, and increase temporary gallery space to accommodate changing exhibits by internationally renowned and emerging artists.

The expansion will feature:

  • 5,000 to 6,000 square feet devoted to Sydney Laurence, Eustace Ziegler and other Alaska masters;
  • the Mary Louise and Elmer Rasmuson Study Room, featuring the Rasmuson family collection of Leon Gaspard paintings;
  • a changing, grand entrance gallery featuring landscape paintings of the North;
  • smaller, intimate galleries for works from the museum’s collection representing art of the North, such as paintings by Lambert and Dellenbaugh; and
  • a patron’s lounge named for Lile, Judy and Ed Rasmuson.

Funds for the expansion will be paid over four years, and are being matched by members of the Rasmuson family.

“We are thrilled to partner with Rasmuson Foundation on this project,” said Julie Decker, museum director and CEO. “The expansion makes possible the new Art of the North galleries, ensuring greater public access to works the museum holds in the public trust. It also creates dedicated space to highlight our full mission – exploring the art, history, science and culture of the North. The Foundation recognizes that investing in our state’s cultural institutions is an investment in the future of Alaska.“

About the Foundation

Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband “E.A.” Rasmuson. Through grantmaking and initiatives, the Foundation is a  catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.