$10 Million Commitment to Cranbrook

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$10 Million Commitment to Cranbrook
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, Study for poster of Dropped Bowl with Scattered Sclieces and Peels, 1998. © Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI.- Cranbrook Trustee Maxine Frankel and her husband Stuart have made a $10 million commitment to the Campaign for Cranbrook in support of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum. This commitment from the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation and the Samuel and Jean Frankel Foundation is the largest made to Cranbrook since founders George and Ellen Booth originally invested in the creation of the National Historic Landmark educational community more than a century ago. The Frankel commitment has helped push the Campaign for Cranbrook over the $120 million mark, edging closer to the campaign goal of $150 million.

The commitment is part of The Frankel Challenge, which is designed to encourage and inspire Cranbrook's governors and trustees to raise an additional $36 million to support endowment, preservation, renovation and other needs for the Academy and Art Museum.

"Stuart and I are honored and thrilled to make this commitment to the internationally renowned Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum," says Maxine Frankel, who also serves as chairperson of the Academy of Art and Art Museum board of governors. "From the beginning, these institutions have served as incubators for creativity and have promoted art as a way to expand the way people think. We know there are others out there who feel just as passionately about art and its possibilities as we do. We hope this commitment will inspire them to step forward and give to Cranbrook."

The Frankels' generosity will have a substantial impact on the future of Cranbrook, says Cranbrook President Rick Nahm. "For the first century of Cranbrook's existence, this community thrived on the philanthropy of its founders George and Ellen Booth. With the Campaign for Cranbrook, we are looking toward new generations of supporters to help us sustain and improve upon Cranbrook's legacy of excellence. By making this generous commitment, Maxine and Stuart are setting an example for others, one that will benefit Cranbrook for generations to come."

The funds raised through the Frankel Challenge will support efforts by the Academy and Art Museum to make art more accessible to students, researchers and others throughout the region.

The Frankels feel passionately about improving that exposure to art and the benefits rendered by it. "While math and science are critical, we have to teach art and art making to develop creative thinking skills," Frankel says. "We can't solve the problems of tomorrow with the thinking skills of today."

Funds also will be used to upgrade the mechanical systems for all of the Academy and Art Museum buildings, and will include the construction of new storage space and a preparation area for objects in the Art Museum's collection. A new climate control system will be installed in the Art Museum, one that will preserve and protect artworks by controlling temperature and humidity. Air conditioning will be added to portions of the Academy's New Studios building. Outdoors, the Art Museum building and surrounding public spaces will be restored, and a snowmelt system will be installed beneath the pavers.

Maxine and Stuart Frankel have been active members of the Cranbrook Educational Community for many years, and are the parents of two Cranbrook Schools graduates, Darren, CK'89, and Kami, CK'91.

In addition to her work with Cranbrook, Maxine serves on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations throughout Michigan and the rest of the nation, including the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the University Musical Society and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Stuart Frankel is president of Stuart Frankel Development Co., a real estate development firm based in Troy, Michigan.

The Campaign for Cranbrook was launched quietly in 2002 after a careful analysis of needs, priorities and fundraising capacity. This comprehensive campaign, which will provide support for programs, operational initiatives, endowment and capital projects, will conclude in June 2010. The $150 million goal, announced publicly in May 2006, includes support for Cranbrook Institute of Science, Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum, Cranbrook Schools, Cranbrook House & Gardens and the restoration and preservation of Cranbrook’s 319-acre National Historic Landmark campus.

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