Graham Corp. board member donates $1 million to Rochester art gallery
The donation is intended to transform the gallery's antiquities collection into a showcase of Near and Middle Eastern treasures.
"I've traveled a lot in the Middle East," said Berkeley, former president of the museum's Gallery Council, a volunteer fundraising organization. "You could call me a frustrated archaeologist. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to help with this gallery."
Her gift is one of the largest that the museum has ever received from a single donor.
The future Berkeley Gallery of Ancient Art probably won't debut until November 2009, said chief curator Marjorie B. Searl. Most of the construction will take place next summer — new cabinetry, lighting, humidity controls and alterations to the ceiling and walls. The space already is heavily trafficked by Rochester students on field trips.
"We're looking to provide better interpretation for these ancient collections," said Searl. "In the new gallery, students will understand more about their significance. These user-friendly displays will be integrated into their school programming."
Helen H. Berkeley is a member of the Graham Corp. board of directors.