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Reynolda House Museum of American Art Announces $5 Million Campaign with Leadership Gift from Reynolds American Foundation

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Jan. 30, 2015) – Reynolda House Executive Director Allison Perkins Thursday night announced a $1 million commitment from the Reynolds American Foundation to the museum’s campaign, Reynolda at 100.

More than 70 donors and friends of the museum gathered in the historic 1917 Reynolda House reception hall for the private event announcing the $5 million capital campaign and the leadership gift from the museum’s long-time supporter the Reynolds American Foundation. In announcing the campaign, Perkins acknowledged the foundation’s gift and the importance of others like it to ensure the future of Reynolda.

“For nearly 100 years, Reynolda has fostered a community where all are welcomed and inspired to learn,” she said. “The vision behind this extraordinary historic site and museum has been supported by Mary and Charlie Babcock, Barbara and Nik Millhouse, and Wake Forest University over the course of two generations. Now, it’s our turn. It’s our community’s turn to help launch the next century of Reynolda; and the Reynolds American Foundation has set the bar.”

Alan Caldwell, director of corporate and civic engagement for Reynolds American Inc., and executive director of the Reynolds American Foundation, added that Reynolda House is a true asset to the community.

“This is our house, too,” he said.  “As the home of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s founder, employees feel a special connection to Reynolda House and the role it continues to play in our community.”

“There aren’t many places you can go in Winston-Salem where you can’t see the transformational role Richard Joshua Reynolds played in making this city what it is,” said Susan M. Cameron, president and chief executive officer of Reynolds American Inc.  “Perhaps nowhere is his presence more strongly felt than in his own home. As the successor in the role he created 140 years ago, I take special pleasure in the Reynolds American Foundation’s investment in keeping the house and museum vibrant for its next 100 years.”

The campaign called Reynolda at 100 is timed to end with the estate’s centennial and the museum’s 50th anniversary, both marked in 2017. The campaign will help pay for a variety of essential projects and endowment to support the museum’s continued commitment to excellence into the next century, serving visitors and scholars of all ages. To date, Reynolda House has raised 83% of its $5 million goal.

“Reynolda House is a powerful place that encapsulates some of the most beautiful aspects of living in Winston-Salem—strong families, important history, beautiful art, and lush green spaces,” said Dianne Blixt, co-chair of the Reynolda at 100 campaign and president of the museum’s Board of Directors. “There is no other Reynolda, and we know that. My husband, Chuck, and I have great trust in the possibilities Reynolda holds for its next century; we consider our gift to Reynolda House as a gift for future generations.”

Campaign fundraising priorities fit into three distinct funding categories: Funds for the Future ($2.5 million), Preserve Our Place ($2.3 million), and Celebrate our Centennial ($200,000). Projects include capital improvements like restoration and preservation of the historic landscape; critical updates to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; a catalog featuring new scholarship on the museum’s collection and new tools for sharing the Reynolda story throughout the estate using technology and signage; and a series of public events planned to celebrate the centennial.

One campaign project is already nearly complete: the restoration of the indoor pool house. Started in June 2014, the restoration is the first since Mary and Charlie Babcock added it along with other indoor recreation in 1937. During the restoration, the glass framework has been replaced, deck tiles and pool tiles have been cleaned and brought back to their original colors, the birdcages have been repaired and restored, and the electrical and plumbing systems have been repaired and replaced where needed. The pool will reopen this spring and be available for students in the museum’s Summer Adventures camps and for private events. A blog and photo series document the project on the museum’s website reynoldahouse.org, searchable by #ReynoldaPool.

In September 2014, Reynolda House started another significant capital project—restoration of the historic landscape surrounding the house. The project focuses on areas of the landscape adjoining the historic house and will include using original planting plans to restore beds, partial restoration of the vista toward the Lake Katharine Wetlands, and clearing understory and extensive pruning. Creating a pedestrian link from the historic house to Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University and Reynolda Village is also a major goal of the project.

The museum’s campaign is part of Wake Will: The Campaign for Wake Forest, announced in 2013. Reynolda House formally affiliated with Wake Forest University in 2002. The museum’s campaign co-chairs are Blixt, president of the museum’s Board of Directors, and Tom Lambeth, former president of the Board of Directors.

Donations to Reynolda at 100 may be made on the Wake Will website at wakewill.wfu.edu/reynolda-house. Named giving opportunities exist within the museum’s campaign. Businesses and corporations interested in being involved in the museum’s campaign should contact Stephan Dragisic, director of development, at 336.758.5595.

Reynolda House Museum of American Art is one of the nation’s premier American art museums, with masterpieces by Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and Gilbert Stuart among its collection.  Affiliated with Wake Forest University, Reynolda House features changing exhibitions, concerts, lectures, classes, film screenings and other events.  The museum is located at 2250 Reynolda Rd. in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in the historic 1917 estate of Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband, Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Reynolda House and adjacent Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village feature a spectacular public garden, dining, shopping and walking trails. For more information, please visit reynoldahouse.org or call 336.758.5150. Connect at Facebook.com/rhmaa or @CurateReynolda.