The Denver Museum of Nature & Science and its supporting organization, the DMNS Foundation, have received a $25 million gift from an anonymous donor.
This is the largest gift in the institution’s 121-year history.
“We are amazed by the donor’s generosity and vision,” said George Sparks, Museum President & CEO. “The support will vastly expand the Museum’s capacity for collections conservation.”
“Collections are treasures held in the public trust. Preserving them and making them accessible to source communities, scientists and the public has long been an institutional priority,” said Museum Director of Anthropology and Senior Curator of Archaeology Stephen E. Nash. “This unprecedented gift will take our work to another level, with the expertise and state-of-the-art analytical equipment needed to advance the field and train the next generation of conservation professionals from a wide range of backgrounds. It will position the museum as a leader in culturally-inclusive object conservation in the Rocky Mountain region, nationally and internationally.”
Ten percent of the funds will go directly to the museum for initial staffing, equipment and launch activities, while 90 percent will establish an endowed fund at the DMNS Foundation. Annual distributions from the endowment will support the museum’s conservation work over the long term.
The Museum’s Science Division collects and cares for a world-class natural history collection composed of 4.3 million artifacts and specimens. Its collections contain scientifically and culturally significant objects in archaeology, ethnology, geology, paleontology, health sciences, zoology and archives.
The Museum’s scientific collections are used by scholars, source communities, artists, students and other groups around the globe to answer questions about our natural world. They are also made available to the public through traveling and permanent exhibitions and programming for audiences of all kinds. In an average year, the Museum fields 350 external research requests, consults with dozens of tribal nation representatives, makes 160 loans consisting of more than 11,000 collection objects, and hosts collections tours for 13,000 people.