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The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art Announces $2,000,000 Gift to the Endowment

(Amherst, MA—October 1, 2015) On September 24, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art announced its largest ever gift to endowment at its annual Carle Honors fundraiser in New York City. Chairman Christopher B. Milne told the crowd of 300 guests that the new Patricia Morrison McDonald Arts Endowment will underwrite educational programming at the Museum. Richard McDonald of Vero Beach, Florida, gave a gift of one million dollars in memory of his late wife, Patricia, and secured an additional million-dollar match in funds from other donors. The two-million dollar Patricia Morrison McDonald Arts Endowment will serve as a lasting tribute to Pat, who was inspired by art throughout her life and especially moved by the work of The Carle.

Pat’s younger sister is the late Barbara Morrison Carle, wife of artist Eric Carle, and co-founder of the Museum. Barbara Carle passed away in early September. She was so proud when she learned of this gift, and shared these thoughts with the Museum in July: “Pat was a minimalist in her design aesthetic and in her own spare art creations, but just the opposite in her passionate spirit and her lifelong love of art and books. Richard’s generous gift is an acknowledgement of Pat’s devotion to The Carle, to picture book art, and to the enduring power of art education.”

The Patricia Morrison McDonald Arts Endowment will help underwrite the wide range of programming offered by the Museum. The Carle welcomes 50,000 annual visitors from all over the world, presenting more than 200 story times, screening more than 1,000 films, and showcasing more than 100 live performances, lectures, art-making activities, and programs with artists and writers. Special workshops and classes are available throughout the year for educators, families, and children.

“We are deeply grateful to Richard McDonald and to the anonymous donors he inspired to match his gift,” said Chairman of the Board Christopher B. Milne. “With this endowed investment, The Carle can continue to be a leader in the field, developing innovative programs and expanding the audience for picture books and picture book art. We expect this gift will also encourage many more to invest in our work.”

This $2,000,000 donation is The Carle’s third major gift to the endowment. In 2007, Jim and Vanita Oelschlager of Akron, Ohio gave $1,000,000. In 2008, William and Janet Gorth from Amherst, Massachusetts gave $250,000.

“At The Carle, we bring picture books to life,” said Milne. “The programs we offer are a perfect way to honor Pat’s memory—and her love for the Museum and its mission.”

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy. Eric and the late Barbara Carle founded the Museum in November 2002. Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 13,000 objects, including 6,600 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master’s degree programs in children’s literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call 413-658-1100 or visit the Museum’s website at www.carlemuseum.org


Media Contact:
Sandy Soderberg
Marketing Manager
(413) 658-1105 / [email protected]

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