The Cooper-Hewitt Defies All Detractors, Decides to Get Bigger

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An interesting story by way of Kottke from the NY Times, saying that the Cooper-Hewitt museum has plans to expand. This, as it did to the writer of the piece, came as quiet a surprise, as the last time we left the Smithsonian‘s news desk, they were saying that they weren’t so sure about Cooper-Hewitt’s future, given its small audiences and the size of their collection (a fact they repeat in the article). But we guess that’s not to be, as they’re actively trying to raise funds to give them a little more elbow room. Here’s some:

Just two weeks ago, senators at a hearing in Washington exhorted the Smithsonian Institution’s museums to raise more of their own money rather than rely so heavily on the government. As if in direct reply, the Cooper-Hewitt announced the very next day that it had raised $21.5 million to expand and renovate its mansion on Fifth Avenue — all of it from board members.

…In a positive sense, “we feel something of a poster child for the rest of the Smithsonian,” said Paul W. Thompson, the Cooper-Hewitt’s director. “We are aggressively fund-raising.” The $21.5 million amounts to half the cost of the museum’s planned $43 million expansion.