The Campaign for the New Bruce Completes $1 Million Fundraising Match

Above: Designed by the New Orleans firm of EskewDumezRipple, the new addition to the Bruce Museum will house state-of-the-art exhibition, education, and community spaces.

Leaders of the Campaign for the New Bruce are pleased to announce continuing widespread community support for the $45 million renovation and expansion project that will transform the Greenwich museum of art and science.

In July 2019, two exceptional friends of the Bruce Museum agreed to match all new gifts of $10,000 or more and to bring the next $1 million raised to $2 million. The challenge was met by close to 20 generous donors, completing the match in early 2020 and bringing the Campaign to 85% of its fundraising goal for the renovation and construction project.

The $1 million challenge was launched by Rebecca Gillan, a member of the Bruce Museum Board of Trustees, and by a second Campaign leader who wishes to remain anonymous. “It’s wonderful to see such a positive response to this challenge, especially as this support comes from members of the community who have not previously given to the Campaign,” says Gillan.

“I became a docent two years ago, and seeing the excitement of the children exposed to the many educational programs made me want to help get the Campaign that much closer to the finish line,” Gillan adds. “I can’t think of a better way to show your support for our community than to help make this cultural and social hub of Greenwich even better.”

“We are grateful for these recent gifts, and thankful for the many other Bruce Museum supporters in our community who have made their own contributions prior to the public launch of the Campaign for the New Bruce in September 2019,” says James B. Lockhart III, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Lockhart adds that the Campaign has also received 100% support from members of the Museum’s renowned Docent program, as well as full support from the Museum’s professional staff.

“This tremendous goodwill, and groundswell of community support will enable us to proceed on schedule with our plans to break ground on the new addition in July 2020,” says Lockhart.

The ambitious project to reimagine the Bruce has been proceeding in phases. A top-to-bottom renovation of the Museum’s changing gallery spaces, begun in September 2019, was completed on budget and on time to host the opening of major new exhibitions of art and science on Saturday, February 1.

On view in the newly enlarged main gallery is On the Edge of the World: Masterworks by Laurits Andersen Ring from SMK—the National Gallery of Denmark. The Bruce Museum is the only U.S. venue on the East Coast to showcase the first exhibition outside Scandinavia solely devoted to L.A. Ring, considered one of the most important figures in Danish art.

In the newly created and adjacent science gallery is Under the Skin, which highlights a dozen recent discoveries through a combination of remarkable imagery and real biological specimens.

With the renovations of its current gallery spaces complete (and fully paid for), the next phase of the construction project begins: the year-long renovation and reinvention of the Permanent Science Galleries, starting on Monday, February 3. The new Permanent Science Galleries will present a multi-sensory expedition through the region’s rich natural history and address critical issues in science today, with new interactives throughout, a refurbished diorama, and displays that include full-scale model dinosaurs and live animals.

In July 2020, construction is scheduled to begin on the centerpiece of the New Bruce: The William L. Richter Art Wing, a three-story, 43,000-square-foot addition that will more than double the size of the Museum, adding state-of-the-art exhibition, education, and community spaces, including a restaurant and lecture hall. Designed by the award-winning New Orleans firm of EskewDumezRipple, the building will open directly onto Bruce Park and feature a delicate striated façade of cast stone and glass inspired by the surfaces of Connecticut’s quarries and the rock outcrops of Bruce Park. The EDR team includes Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects, who are creating a natural environment around the New Bruce that includes a new sculpture trail and places to stroll and play.

“This year promises to be filled with significant milestones reached by the Bruce Museum,” says Robert Wolterstorff, The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director. “Thanks to our early donors and this significant recent support of our Campaign, we’re bringing our gallery spaces up to 21st century standards, within a treasured building built in the mid-1800s. Now we need others to step forward to help us meet our construction budget, and to continue to grow the Endowment that’s critical to ensuring the Museum’s sustainability far into the future.”

The New Bruce Campaign Committee is led by Museum Trustees John Ippolito and Heidi Brake Smith and past Trustee and Museum Council Co-Chair Susan V. Mahoney. The Committee, Board of Trustees, and the Museum’s professional staff fully expect to raise the remaining $6 million needed to put the shovel in the ground in July. New gifts of all sizes are welcome!

To learn more about the Campaign for the New Bruce and to participate, please contact Whitney Lucas Rosenberg, Director of Development and Institutional Advancement, at 203-413-6765 or wrosenberg@brucemuseum.org, or Barbara Tavrow, Campaign Director, at 203-249-8225 or btavrow@bjtavrowconsulting.com.