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“Gross Clinic” Fundraising Update: “Well Over 50 Percent”

Jeffrey Snyder, major gifts officer of the Philadelphia Museum, told CultureGrrl today that the $68-million fundraising campaign for Eakins’ “The Gross Clinic” is “well over 50% there.”
That still leaves a lot of cash to raise in one week. So why is Anne d’Harnoncourt, director of the museum, so “optimistic,” as quoted in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer? She herself has been coy in answering press questions about how much has been raised—a strange posture for someone trying to build up a sense of public urgency about the Dec. 26 deadline.
But Snyder told me her confidence is based on the museum’s discussions with “a lot of our nearest and dearest” (translation: “big donors”). The campaign, he said, is in the process of “closing some gifts.”
Mayor John Street has withdrawn his nomination of the Eakins for protection under the city’s historic preservation ordinance, because “the fundraising is really moving along,” according to Street’s spokesman, Joe Grace, as quoted in the Inquirer. “We want to allow folks to focus on fundraising.”
The larger fundraising issue raised by this campaign is whether the “nearest and dearest,” feeling they’ve done their bit for art with this emergency rescue, may be less generous towards less high-profile but equally urgent cultural needs in the coming year.

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