Great news for RAM

It was Great News Tuesday for the Richmond Art Museum with the announcement that $1.3 million has been raised in a capital campaign for improvements.

The goal, said art museum executive director Shaun Dingwerth, is to raise $1.6 million over the next six months to update and improve the museum’s galleries, its climate control and fire suppression systems, create a new gallery space dedicated to the Richmond Group art colony and improve technology.

The campaign is titled Renewing a Masterpiece.

Dingwerth Tuesday said lead donors in the campaign are Paul and Pat Lingle, Dr. Dana Reihman and Dr. Eileen Cravens and the late William Starr.

Dingwerth said the remaining $300,000 will be raised over the next six month and work is scheduled to begin in February 2017 and last four to six months.

Robin Henry is campaign chairman. She announced that an anonymous donor has pledged $100,000 to the campaign if local volunteers can raise $200,000. That pledge campaign begins today and runs through Dec. 31.

The Richmond Art Museum was founded as the Richmond Art Association in 1898 and is the only active public art museum in the U.S. that is housed in a public school.

The museum’s collection has been hailed as a Midwest treasure by art experts. It’s collection includes works by important impressionist artists like John Elwood Bundy, William Merritt Chase, Frank Duveneck, Marcus Mote and T.C. Steele. It also includes a significant collection of ceramics by the Overbeck sisters of Cambridge City.

The campaign will also support educational programs at the museum. Dingwerth said the museum offers 280 programs annually, most aimed at students, and serves 7,700 young people each year.

Donations can be made at, by mail at P.O. Box 816, Richmond, IN 47375 or in person at the museum, located at the north end of Richmond High School, 350 Hub Etchison Parkway.

Joining museum volunteers at Tuesday’s announcement were mother and daughter TV personalities, Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak, who appear on the HGTV home renovation series “Good Bones.” The women are known for revitalizing the Fountain Square neighborhood in Indianapolis.

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