Wednesday, October 17 , 2018, 1:42 am | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 

Art Museum Gets $500,000 for Renovation Project

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) has announced a contribution of $500,000 from the late philanthropist Elaine F. Stepanek through her foundation, the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation.

The funds will go toward the Imagine More Capital Campaign for the museum’s current renovation project. With the Stepanek Foundation gift, the museum has reached a total of $30.8 million toward the $50 million campaign goal.

“A hard-hat tour of the museum’s construction opened my eyes to the building’s critical infrastructure needs,” said Daniel H. Gainey, grandson of Elaine Stepanek.

“It became clear to me we needed to participate in saving this building and keeping our museum in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara,” he said.

“All of us on the SBMA staff and board are extremely grateful for the generous new gift from the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation," said Larry J. Feinberg, SBMA’s Robert and Mercedes Eichholz director/CEO.

"It will serve to fund the absolutely critical needs of this renovation project, and is already having a galvanizing effect on the museum’s capital campaign," Feinberg said.

The Imagine More Capital Campaign supports the current museum renovation project, addressing critical needs of the building and making improvements to benefit staff, visitors, and the community, the museum reports.

Originally from Boston, Stepanek moved to Santa Barbara in 1962 with her first husband Daniel C. Gainey. She supported numerous cultural, educational and medical organizations, locally and nationally.

She married the now-late Edward E. Stepanek in 1979. They were married for 23 years.

Upon her passing, Elaine Stepanek left a generous legacy gift to SBMA which was directed to supporting 19th-century European art exhibitions, especially French Impressionist, which she loved.

Her legacy gift has since supported two important exhibitions: A Gift for Santa Barbara: The Dwight and Winifred Vedder Collection (2007) and Delacroix to Monet: Masterpieces of 19th-Century Painting from the Walters Art Museum (2010).

Mrs. Stepanek’s lifetime giving to SBMA spanned 25 years and totaled more than $1.2 million. Her generosity continues through her foundation.

Recently, the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation underwrote the museum’s 75th-anniversary publication 75 in 25: Important Acquisitions at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The book celebrated the growth of the museum, its art donors, and its permanent collection.

— Katrina Carl for Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

 

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