Art gifts

Springfield Art Museum’s master plan accelerated after $5 million donation

The Springfield Art Museum’s 30-year master plan to bring the museum into the 22nd century has been accelerated.

The art museum announced on Thursday that it had received a $5 million donation from The Sunderland Foundationa family foundation based in Overland Park, Kansas, to benefit its Master plan. It is the largest charitable donation the museum has received in its 93 years of operation, museum director Nick Nelson said.

The $5 million donation will accelerate the museum’s 30-year plan into a seven-year project. The hope is that construction and renovation will be completed by 2028, the museum’s 100th anniversary.

“With a donation of this size and magnitude, our plan is to get into the design work and start working on completing the full plan by 2028,” Nelson said Thursday. “This gift will allow us to kick off this effort. At present, the exterior part of the master plan is well on its way to completion, so this will allow us to get started to complete the construction phase.”

Continued: Parking lot and stormwater improvements kick off construction of Springfield Museum of Art’s ‘master plan’

The art museum unveiled its master plan in 2018, which includes renovations to the grounds, education wing, west entrance, galleries and auditorium.

For the past two years, construction on the museum grounds has been underway. These improvements include widening and naturalizing Fassnight Creek, which runs alongside the museum, connecting the museum to the rest of the city through its Greenway trails, and relocating and expanding the parking lot.

After the grounds are completed, the museum can begin to focus on the interior. Nelson did not specify which renovations will be tackled first, but according to the museum Master planinterior updates are expected to begin this spring.

To date, $9 million of the $25 million campaign has been raised.

Greta Cross is the current affairs reporter for the Springfield News-Leader. Follow her on Twitter and instagram @gretacrossphoto. Story idea? Email him at [email protected]