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The Detroit Institute of Arts, the Founders Society, and the City

In: Valuing Detroit’s Art Museum

Author

Listed:
  • Jeffrey Abt

    (Wayne State University)

Abstract

Just as the DMA trustees were preparing to dissolve their nonprofit corporation, a seemingly minor problem surfaced. It had about $27,000 in acquisition endowments and cash. Because the endowments were structured as trusts administered by the museum’s board, it was unclear whether or not, from a legal or fiscal standpoint, the city could oversee the endowments and utilize their investment income. The trustees tabled the question—and the dissolution of their nonprofit—until early 1920 when Ferry, who had returned from the war and was elected the trustees’ new president, could consider it. He proposed the DMA nonprofit corporation be continued, not only to administer the existing endowments, but to solicit and administer future donations, cultivate public interest in art, coordinate with the DIA, and purchase art for it with income from memberships and contributions. Ferry’s proposal was unanimously approved.1

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Abt, 2017. "The Detroit Institute of Arts, the Founders Society, and the City," Palgrave Studies in American Economic History, in: Valuing Detroit’s Art Museum, chapter 0, pages 45-81, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:psichp:978-3-319-45219-7_2
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-45219-7_2
    as

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