Berman Foundation Commits $1.25M to Ursinus

The gift will create a permanent endowment and provide current-use funding for the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art.

The endowment will be invested to support the Berman Museum’s exhibition program in perpetuity.

“This endowment gift is a wonderful recognition of what we’ve accomplished as a museum, and is a gesture of the Berman family’s faith in the great work that we will continue in the years ahead,” says Charles Stainback, director of the Berman Museum. “The Bermans have shown a genuine love for this institution; they really want to see it succeed. With their help, I know we will do that.”

The Berman Museum is one of about three percent of museums nationwide accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

With this new source of funding in place, Stainback says the Berman staff will begin planning high-impact exhibition and related programming for the coming years, including a series of guest curators from across the United States and all over the world, who will bring new viewpoints and add variety to the exhibition program.

“In its nearly three decades, the Berman Museum has proven to be a potent focus of culture and innovative artistic programming,” says Nancy Berman, who runs the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation with her husband, Alan Bloch, and their daughter, Rebecca Berman Bloch. “Its impact on the learning lives of those on campus and the larger community has changed the ecology of Ursinus. My parents contributed in birthing the Museum—providing ideas, energy, funding and art collections. We at the foundation realized that the best way to honor their legacy was to make a gift that would assure exhibition funding.”

The Berman Foundation commitment was part of a landmark month of April, when Ursinus received more than $5 million in new gifts and pledges for Keep the Promise, the college’s $100 million comprehensive campaign. The campaign is raising funds in support of its mission and strategic priorities that will advance academic innovation, enrich the student experience and provide enhanced access through scholarships. 

Founded in 1987, the Berman Museum supports the educational mission of Ursinus College across all disciplines, presenting innovative exhibitions and programs that delve into the broader world of ideas. The museum aims to create an atmosphere conducive to curiosity and exploration: an accessible, welcoming space that challenges visitors to think critically.

The Berman Museum, which is free and open to the public, is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

About Face: Portraits from the Berman Museum Collection, opens June 15 and runs through Aug. 6. It includes numerous examples of portraiture from a small Renaissance painting to contemporary photography.

Real Estate: Dwelling on Contemporary Art, opens Sept. 15 and runs through March 18, 2018. It presents the work of contemporary artists working with or responding to the varying aspects of real estate: buildings, rooms, structures, monuments, properties, and houses. —By Ed Moorhouse