Often, just at a moment when you are forging into the future, you find yourself reflecting on your past. As the Columbus Museum of Art enters a new era, we honor our past by proudly announcing that our newly renovated historic 480 East Broad Street building will now by known as the Elizabeth M. And Richard M. Ross Building.
The Ross family has been an integral force in transforming the Columbus Museum of Art into a major cultural institution. In the 1960s, Elizabeth Ross led the Board of Managers, who ran the day-to-day affairs of the Museum, before joining the Board of Trustees in 1965, and becoming the first woman president of the Board in 1975. She is also one of our longest serving trustees as well as a founding member of our Women’s Board auxiliary. The family, inspired by Richard Ross’s love of photography, gave CMA its first significant body of photography holdings and supported the Museum’s acquisition of the Photo League Collection. Their generosity also includes gifts of works of art such as Henry Moore’s monumental bronze sculpture Three Piece Reclining Figure: Draped, which graces the lawn of the Broad Street entrance and has become an iconic image forever associated with the Museum.
Richard and Elizabeth Ross generously provided the leadership gift to the Museum’s Campaign for Enduring Excellence in 1983. That campaign led to the acquisition of the Sirak Collection, which significantly increased the Museum’s holding in Impressionism and German Expressionism and includes works by artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas. In honor of this leadership gift, the Museum wing built in 1974 was renamed the Ross Wing. Over the decades, the Ross Wing housed acclaimed and internationally recognized exhibitions. The Ross Wing will be retired when CMA begins construction of a new addition.
“Only rarely does one have the privilege of receiving the kind of sustained support that Elizabeth and Richard Ross have given to the Museum,” said Executive Director Nannette Maciejunes. “In recognition of their unfaltering dedication, we thought it a fitting tribute to name our historic building in their honor.”