The Dallas Museum of Art announced that DMA trustee and former chairman Marguerite Steed Hoffman has donated $17 million to the museum to create the Marguerite and Robert Hoffman Fund for European Art Before 1700. Stipulations of the gift allocate $13.6 million for acquisitions, and the remaining $3.4 million for exhibitions and programming.
The gift, one of the nation’s largest for the purchase and care of old master works, will be used to expand the DMA’s European Renaissance and Baroque collections. It more than doubles the DMA’s acquisition endowment, to a total of $24 million.
The fund’s name honors Marguerite Hoffman’s late husband Robert, who died in 2006. In February 2005, the Hoffmans, along with fellow museum benefactors Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Deedie and Rusty Rose, collaborated on a joint gift of modern and contemporary art. The gift was part of the DMA’s centennial campaign, which eventually raised over $185 million.
“There is no greater pleasure for me than to help the DMA strengthen its already remarkable collection,” Hoffman stated in a press release. “The Museum deserves the resources to increase the scope of its European holdings, and I am honored to be able to do this for the Museum and the people of Dallas on behalf of Robert and myself.”
Over the summer, A.i.A. reported that the DMA was considering purchasing a rediscovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci. But, despite raising tens of millions of dollars, the sale eventually fell through. This disappointing event inspired Hoffman to contribute to the museum’s old master acquisitions budget.
Above, Marguerite Steed Hoffman with her late husband Robert.