The Art Institute of Chicago received an unrestricted $50 million donation, the largest in its history.
The windfall comes from Janet Duchossois, a trustee of the museum, and her husband, Craig, who runs the family company, The Duchossois Group, the ChicagoTribune reported Tuesday. The gift comes with no strings or terms attached—the couple said they did not impose any kind of sanctions on how the funds could be used because of their trust in director James Rondeau. “I’m so impressed with James’ energy, his vision and his commitment,” Janet Duchossois told the Tribune. “It’s clear that I believe in James. Even more importantly I believe in the Art Institute.” In addition to the $50 million donation, board chair Robert Levy and his wife, Diane v.S. Levy, gave $20 million, though the pair specifically earmarked their funds for operations and acquisitions. The museum has not announced how it intends to spend either donation, but the institution’s long-term plans potentially include a new building dedicated to Asian art, the Tribune reported. While the $70 million combined gift is by far the largest monetary amount given to the Art Institute at one time, the museum did receive a group of works in 2015 that were bequeathed by Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, and the value of that trove has been estimated to be $400 million.