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Seattle University to receive $300 million art collection

Seattle University plans to build a new art museum, thanks to a $300 million gift of an art collection and $25 million in seed capital from a donor, the University of Seattle announced Wednesday. university administrators.

The gift – made by real estate developer Richard Hedreen – is the largest gift in the history of the university, a Jesuit institution founded in 1891, trustees said in a statement.

Hedreen is donating her entire collection, which includes more than 200 works of art dating from the 15th century to today, including works by Thomas Gainsborough, Lucian Freud and Amy Sherald.

“It’s a remarkable educational collection,” university president Eduardo Peñalver said in a telephone interview, adding that “we can’t wait to have it on our campus and for our faculty and students to be able to use it throughout the university’s curriculum.” sparking their own learning and discussion.

Hedreen said in a statement that he was donating the collection in honor of his wife, Betty, who was an alumna of Seattle University and served on the board of trustees of the Seattle Art Museum. She deceased in 2022.

“I am convinced that a Jesuit university, which focuses on teaching and visual arts, poetry, literature, history and education, is the right place to have a museum capable of teaching art history,” Hedreen said in a telephone interview.

The new museum will be open to students and the public, Peñalver said, adding that it would be “a bridge between our campus and the city.”

Edgar Gonzalez, vice president for university development, wrote in an email that the university had already begun discussions with an architect connected to the museum project and that the project would take approximately three to five years to complete. “The seed funding will allow us to immediately begin moving the project forward,” Gonzalez wrote.

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