The Mint Museum announced today a $5 million grant award from the Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation. This gift will support enhancements to the Mint’s new facility, which will open in 2010 in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning Center City. In recognition of this generous gift, The Mint Museum in Center City will name its dramatic, light-filled Atrium – the Museum’s principal gathering area – in honor of the late Mr. Morrison.
“We are grateful to the Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation for what is a transformative gift for our Museum,” said Phil Kline, Executive Director. “The Mint has ambitious plans to serve our public in the 21st century, and these funds will enable us to provide magnificent art experiences for all who enter the Museum. We are fortunate to have partners like the Morrison Foundation who recognize the significance of offering unique educational and cultural opportunities for all of our visitors.”
The funds from the Foundation will be used to build and enhance visitor amenities to ensure the Museum’s goal of creating an innovative, state-of-the-art facility.
“The generous gift by the Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation represents an unprecedented opportunity for The Mint Museum,” said Zach Smith, chairman of the Museum’s Building Committee. “The Board of Trustees saw the significance of the visitor experience as an essential component of the Museum’s expansion. We are deeply grateful to the Foundation for its commitment to this vision. This gift gives us the ability to enhance the visitor experience in the Mint’s new facility.”
Dr. Cynthia Haldenby Tyson, President of the Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation, said, “This gift demonstrates confidence in The Mint Museum’s expansion initiative and the City of Charlotte. Mr. Morrison avidly supported Charlotte’s drive towards growth. He would have applauded the evolution of Center City and would have enjoyed seeing the vibrancy of its current redevelopment.”
The Robert Haywood Morrison Foundation is a private foundation committed to strengthening higher education, promoting the arts and preserving the environment for current and future residents of the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Established in 2001, the Foundation honors the life and legacy of the late Robert Haywood Morrison.
Born in Hickory, N.C., in 1927, Robert Haywood Morrison was a gifted scholar, educator and businessman. A longtime member of The Mint Museum, Mr. Morrison held a deep appreciation for traditional fine arts. He enjoyed creativity in all forms, although the creative entrepreneurial spirit that he brought to real estate endeavors gave him the greatest personal fulfillment. Mr. Morrison’s gifting philosophies reflected his strong conviction that capital and endowment gifts provide lasting value to an organization and are likely to endure over time. He passed away in 2005.
The Mint Museum in Center City is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, just one year prior to The Mint Museum’s 75th anniversary. Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston (design architect), Clark Patterson Lee Design Professionals of Charlotte (architect of record), and George Sexton Associates of Washington, D.C. (museum consultant), the new facility will combine inspiring architecture with groundbreaking exhibitions to provide unparalleled art experiences for its visitors. The Museum expansion will provide larger and more flexible exhibition space and unique galleries to showcase the collections. The new facility will also house a Family Gallery to reinforce the Museum’s dual priorities of art and education.