Leaving an Artful Legacy

THE PRINCETON UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM means different things to different people. Perhaps you are an alumnus who recalls being inspired by the precept that brought you as a student into a study room in the Museum, where you had an intimate encounter with a Maya vessel and discovered a new way of looking at art and the world around you.

Maybe you are a scholar, collector, or seasoned patron of the arts who appreciates the value of this exceptional university museum and embraces its commitment to keeping art at the core of the educational experience at Princeton. You may be a Museum docent, Friend, or neighbor whose life and family have been enriched by having a world-class art museum located at the heart of the community.

Whatever your relationship with the Museum may be, there are many important ways in which you can build a living legacy that will not only help sustain this special institution and its programs for future generations but can also be deeply meaningful for you. Since its founding in 1882, the Princeton University Art Museum has benefited from the generosity of countless benefactors who have chosen to include the Museum in their will or other estate plans, deriving satisfaction from knowing that they are helping the Museum they loved during their lifetimes carry on to inspire future generations.

A recently realized bequest to the Art Museum was planned as long ago as 1953, when Hugh L. Adams, the father of Hugh Trumbull Adams, Class of 1935, established a trust to provide lifetime support for his son.

This trust also included a gift intention for the University. When this Princeton alumnus died in October 2009, his own bequest to Princeton was realized, along with that of his father, for the benefit of the Art Museum and a few other campus beneficiaries. Through his mother, Mary Trumbull Adams, Hugh T. Adams was the descendant of a prominent New England family that included the Revolutionary War painter John Trumbull. The Art Museum was an important part of Adams’s life and philanthropy, which has included gifts of well over one hundred works of art by masters such as Renoir, Picasso, Matisse, Calder, and Motherwell, along with important Japanese prints and Chinese bronzes. Through the vehicle of his estate, Adams created an endowed fund “for the acquisition of art objects”— a fund restricted to acquisitions that will carry his name and that of his parents in perpetuity, ensuring that what Mr. Adams valued most about the Art Museum will flourish far beyond his lifetime.

Another generous bequest has recently come to the Museum from the estate of James H. Lockhart Jr., Class of 1935—coincidentally a classmate of Hugh Trumbull Adams. Rather than directing his gift toward a particular Museum program or initiative, Mr. Lockhart’s unrestricted bequest provides the Museum with the flexibility to use these endowed funds to support its most urgent priorities. Planned gifts such as this are invaluable to the Museum, providing essential funds where they are needed most.

While the most common form of planned giving is a bequest made by a will or trust such as those of Hugh Adams and James Lockhart, a wide range of planned giving opportunities exist that include life income and deferred gifts in many forms and sizes that can help grow the Museum’s endowment or support a specific interest or program. Planned giving of these kinds can not only provide significant financial and tax benefits to donors during their lifetime, but they can also enhance their capacity to make an exceptional gift to the Art Museum and help to shape its work in perpetuity.

As a longtime member and former chair of the Museum’s Advisory Council, Duane Wilder, Class of 1951, understands intimately the value the Museum brings to the Princeton community and takes great pride in its collections and programs. He has been a loyal and generous supporter throughout the years and has made clear his intention to sustain his personal legacy by providing for the Museum’s future in his estate plans, establishing a charitable gift annuity—another gift-planning tool—in which he will receive fixed quarterly payments from Princeton for the rest of his life, after which the remainder will pass to the Museum to be used as he directs. A similarly structured charitable gift annuity was recently established by Naomi Chandler Reik, widow of a member of the Class of 1933, and a former Museum docent and current Princeton resident. This gift will create a fund to support exhibitions in Asian art, a subject dear to the heart of this life-long Museum patron and devoted volunteer.

These donors are among a growing number of generous and thoughtful individuals whose bequests and estate gifts and commitments fulfill both their philanthropic and personal goals. Today, planned gifts of all sizes are more important than ever to the sustained excellence and vitality of the Art Museum to ensure that it remains a vibrant place of shared enrichment for all visitors. We honor and thank these and all of our donors for their philanthropic vision and generous support—both past and promised.

Nancy K. Stout
Director of Institutional Advancement