The David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation is donating $3 million to endow the director’s position at the Gund Gallery in perpetuity.
David W. Horvitz ’74 H’98 is a member of the Kenyon Board of Trustees and of the Gund Gallery Board of Directors and the immediate past chair of the Gund Gallery board. Last year he and his wife, Francie Bishop Good, donated six pieces to the gallery’s collection, including a quilt by Faith Ringgold and a painting each from Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence.
“The Gund Gallery brings serious visual art to Kenyon students across the academic disciplines, which we never had when I was there,” Horvitz said. “Kenyon students are very fortunate to see some of the best art from the 20th and 21st century right on campus.”
Horvitz and Good have consistently supported the gallery since it opened in 2011 and make annual contributions to its operating budget.
“Kenyon needs endowment support across the board. Kenyon works extraordinarily hard to manage its budget in view of its limited endowment,” Horvitz said. “At all great museums, the director’s position is endowed, so we are proud to endow the Gund Gallery director’s position.”
This gift adds to $1 million in endowment already raised for the Gund Gallery since its opening. The museum has had only one director: Natalie Marsh joined Kenyon in 2010 to guide the creation of the dynamic 31,000-square-foot building and the museum’s program.
“What Natalie Marsh has accomplished is to go from a blank slate to developing the best college museum in the country,” Horvitz said. “She has built a collection, developed an exhibition program, created a wonderful internship program for students and, most importantly, made the visual arts an important part of teaching and learning across the academic disciplines.”
Marsh has served as inaugural director and chief curator of other college programs, including at Columbus College of Art & Design and Denison University, in addition to positions with other academic museums, commercial galleries and contemporary arts centers. She has taught courses in curatorial and museum studies; drawing; 2-D design; surveys in Western, Japanese, Chinese and South Asian art history; and popular visual culture. She holds a bachelor’s degree in painting from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MFA in painting and drawing and a Ph.D. in art history from Ohio State University.
In the past 20 years, Marsh has curated more than 150 exhibitions of contemporary and historical art, design and material culture.
“The most distinctive thing about the Gund Gallery is the brilliance of utilizing the collection and the exhibitions across the academic disciplines,” Horvitz said. “I’m awed at how the faculty from all the sciences, the social sciences and the humanities have been able to integrate what’s at the Gund Gallery into their curricula.”
Marsh said Horvitz and Good have already agreed on the future donation of an additional 53 works of art from their personal collection.
“When I was at Kenyon, I never saw in person the best art of the 20th century,” Horvitz said. “I saw it on slides in dark classrooms at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and fell asleep. It makes a huge difference when you can experience art in person.”