Katz Family Donates $500K to Figge Art Museum

June  26, 2014

      A local family has made a large investment in the legacy of art in the Quad Cities. The Figge Art Museum has received a half-million dollar donation from the estate of Ruth Evelyn Katz. 

      For decades, Katz was part of a committee that brought art exhibits from across the nation to the Davenport Museum of Art. She stayed involved in art preservation projects when the Figge was built.  

       Raelene Pullen, Director of Development, says the $500,000 donation will allow the Figge to remain a viable educational institution. 

      "A gift like this to the museum is like electricity to the museum because it ensures that we are going to continue our mission in perpetuity. A gift of this size that comes in unrestricted, which can be put towards our endowment is a gift towards the future."

      Executive director Tim Schiffer hopes to use part of the gift to expand its free art program in local schools. 

       "In the future, I think we will probably look at growing our community engagement budget and really just trying to make people feel very comfortable about coming to the figge and feel that it's a place where they can go and really have an enjoyable experience with art."

      The Figge will honor Ruth Evelyn Katz and her family by renaming its second floor Print Gallery The Katz Gallery. 

      A formal dedication will be held next week.