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Lehman Collapse to Hurt Art Museums

posted by Christopher Howard

“The collapse of Lehman Brothers is destined to pass like a cold wind through the museum world,” reports, “which has leaned on the investment firm for untold millions of dollars in arts patronage.” Museums nationwide, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Asia Society in New York to major institutions in Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco, will all need to look elsewhere for charitable donations. In addition, arts institutions in England, France, and Germany—not to mention domestic arts-education programs for school children in the US—will also see funding evaporate from the $39 million that Lehman Brothers gave as charitable gifts in 2007.

David Segal and Jacqueline Trescott at the Washington Post write that “Lehman may never hand out another charitable dime; the immediate future of the firm’s philanthropic foundation, like everything else about it, is now a matter of bankruptcy law. But the fear isn’t limited to those groups that were getting money from corporate America’s recently deceased and badly wounded. There’s agita all around.” Segal and Trescott talk to arts-institution directors and corporate funders to scope out the current state of funding in light of recent financial events.

See also Philip Boroff’s “Life After Lehman: Nonprofits Brace Amid Bankruptcy on

Filed under: Education, Museums and Galleries

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