Smithsonian American Art Museum Receives $5.4 Million for Renovations

Smithsonian American Art Museum Receives $5.4 Million for Renovations

The in Washington, D.C., has announced a $5.4 million gift from David M. Rubenstein for the renovation of its .

The gift, which completes the private fundraising portion of the $30 million capital project, will support the first comprehensive renovation of the landmarked building in forty-five years, including the installation of new heating, air conditioning, electrical, lighting, and fire-suppression systems. The building's original window configuration also will be re-created and two vaulted ceilings in the second-floor galleries will be restored. The entire renovation is expected to be completed in fourteen months.

Designed by James Renwick, Jr. in 1859, the 34,000-square-foot building was the first purpose-built art museum in America. In 1972, the building became the home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's craft and decorative art program. In recognition of Rubenstein's gift, the building's Grand Salon will be named in his honor.

Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the , has been a member of the Smithsonian's Board of Regents since 2009. The gift is the latest in a series of gifts he has made to restore important American landmarks, including the , the and , Thomas Jefferson's home in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I am delighted to have the support of David Rubenstein for the Renwick Gallery," said Betsy Broun, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. "The passion David brings to preserving great landmarks of American history is inspiring. His generous gift guarantees that the future of this historic landmark as a premier showcase for American ingenuity and creativity will continue for generations to come."

"." Smithsonian American Art Museum Press Release 06/23/2014.