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Carolina Parents Council Grant – 2011

In April 2011 the Ackland Art Museum received a grant from The University of North Carolina Parents Council in support of ArtNow/CinemaNow: making critical connections. Funding from the Parents Council will be used to support collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Program in Cinema to make critical connections in the production of static and moving pictures. This program of exhibitions, lectures, and films creates a rare opportunity to present University students and community members with art and film in the context of both academic inquiry and social activities.

ArtNow/CinemaNow allows both units, the Ackland and the Program in Cinema, to build new audiences, engage more students, and expand understanding of cinematic production as a significantly active enterprise all over the world, with implications for the arts and the sciences. Both the Ackland and the Program in Cinema seek to continually engage and contribute to the ideas, insights, and vocabularies from many different disciplines across campus and in doing so, engage students and the community in a deeper understanding and appreciation of the role of the arts in communities and cultures.

In the fall of 2010 the Ackland presented the first ArtNow/CinemaNow program at the Varsity Theatre. The spring 2011 series, “In the Shadow of Catastrophe: German Cinema 1977-1992,” featured films by German filmmakers, including the films Our Hitler, and Sugar Baby. Following the final film of the series, Lessons of Darkness, a panel of speakers from the UNC-CH German department, the Ackland, and UNC-CH Communication Studies lead a discussion about the film. Over 200 people attended the spring 2011 series.

With support from the Parents Council the Ackland will continue ArtNow/CinemaNow at least twice a year for the next three years. Admission to the lectures and films planned for this program are free to all graduate and undergraduate students.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Grant – 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The Ackland Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was awarded a matching grant for $115,000 from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an independent grant-making agency of the federal government, to enable the conservation of sixteen rare and important Asian paintings from the Ackland Collection in August, 2009.

The Ackland’s collection of Asian art is one of the finest in the southeast and the sixteen paintings chosen for this project are among the most significant in the Collection. These works were selected for treatment following an indepth conservation survey conducted in 2008 with IMLS support.

“We are grateful to IMLS for their investment in this important work,” said Ackland Director Emily Kass. “Conservation is an essential part of our stewardship of objects.”

The Ackland was one of only 35 museums out of 129 applicants to receive an award that year.

“These 35 museums, by preserving and conserving their collections, are ensuring the longevity of our nation’s treasures for the education and enjoyment of all Americans. IMLS is proud to be a part of their efforts,” said Anne-Imelda M. Radice, director of IMLS.

The sixteen paintings include fifteen hanging scrolls from Japan, China, and Korea, and one Japanese folding screen. The works range in date from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Notable among the paintings are Jizo Bosatsu (Japan, thirteenth -fourteenth centuries; seen above), and Kasugo Mandala (Japan, thirteenth – fourteenth centuries), which are related to Buddhism and Shinto respectively and are the earliest and among the finest Japanese scrolls in the Collection. Also included is the finest early Chinese painting in the Collection: Prunus, a sixteenth-century scroll depicting plum-blossoms.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant – 2008

In July 2008 the Ackland Art Museum received $1.25 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to deepen and expand the museum’s role in the education of University students. The Museum continues to use the funds to engage UNC scholars and students in research, publication, interpretation and creation of exhibitions from the Ackland collection; give students opportunities to learn about the substance and methodology of museum work; and introduce graduate teaching assistants and faculty to ways of using artworks to support teaching and learning strategies that apply across academic departments and disciplines.

The New York foundation’s gift came in the form of a $1 million challenge grant to establish an endowment to strengthen the curricular role of the museum’s collections and programs and $250,000 in spendable funds for use over three years to support this endeavor while matching funds are raised.

“Carolina’s relationship with the Mellon Foundation fuels many of our most adventurous and creative explorations in the humanities and fine arts,” Chancellor Holden Thorp said. “This latest grant challenges the Ackland and the university community to make the work of the museum inseparable from the work of the faculty. We couldn’t ask for an opportunity that better suits where we want to go in the integration of our public and academic programs.”