Nasher/Haemisegger Family Gives $5 Million to Nasher Museum of Art at Duke

The gift from Nancy A. Nasher and her husband David Haemisegger will create endowments for a visiting curatorship and the acquisition of modern art

Nancy A. Nasher and her husband David J. Haemisegger have given $5 million to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to create two new endowments for a visiting curatorship and the acquisition of modern art, school officials announced Wednesday.

The $5 million gift, the largest single donation since the museum was built in 2005, is twofold. The $4 million Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Fund for Acquisitions will support the museum's purchases of works of modern and contemporary art. Another $1 million will support the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Visiting Curatorship Fund, allowing the museum to bring top scholars to organize special exhibitions and projects.

"This visionary gift continues the generous tradition of philanthropy by the Nasher/Haemisegger family in support of Duke's museum," said Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead. "We are grateful for this new commitment by Nancy and David, reflecting their deep understanding of the many ways the Nasher Museum enriches the Duke community, enhances the educational experience for our students, and extends Duke's welcome to Durham and the region."    

Kimerly Rorschach, the museum’s Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director, added, "This extraordinary gift is transformative for the Nasher Museum and marks a milestone in our development. The Nasher/Haemisegger family has provided significant ongoing resources for building our collection and allowing us to deepen and broaden our curatorial expertise, which in turn permits us to expand our exhibition program and use our collection much more effectively. We are enormously grateful to Nancy and David for this wonderful gift."

Nancy Nasher's late father, Raymond D. Nasher, a 1943 Duke graduate, was the museum's founder and namesake. Raymond Nasher died in 2007, and that same year Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger gave $1 million to name the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art, in honor of Nancy's parents. In addition, Duke's Board of Trustees named the museum's lecture hall the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Family Lecture Hall.  

This latest gift brings the total to more than $16 million given to the museum by members of the Nasher/Haemisegger family. Raymond Nasher and his foundation provided the largest gift, $10 million, toward the new museum building.

Nancy Nasher is the incoming chair of the Nasher Museum’s Board of Advisors; David Haemisegger also serves on the board. Both serve on the board's collections committee. Nancy Nasher is a 1979 graduate of Duke Law School and lifetime member of the law school's board of visitors. She served two terms on Duke's Board of Trustees and serves on the steering committee of Duke Forward, the university's recently launched $3.25 billion fundraising campaign. She and Haemisegger are co-owners and developers of NorthPark Center in Dallas, Texas, one of the five highest-grossing shopping centers in the United States. Both are active supporters and board members of numerous cultural and educational institutions, including the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, the Nasher Foundation and the Dallas Museum of Art.

"Our family's vision and passion for Duke to have one of the leading university art museums in the country has become a reality," Nancy Nasher said. "David and I are honored to be part of this remarkable institution and to help contribute to its ongoing success and achievements."

A campus-wide initiative in the arts, with a focus on increasing investment in arts-related programs and people across Duke, is a priority of the recently announced Duke Forward campaign. The Nasher/Haemisegger gift advances that overall effort, which includes the museum's goals of growing endowments for curatorships, art acquisitions, exhibitions and programs.

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The Nasher Museum, at 2001 Campus Drive at Anderson Street on the Duke campus, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and members of the Duke Alumni Association, $3 for non-Duke students with identification and free for children 15 and younger. Admission is free to all on Thursday nights. Admission is free to Duke students, faculty and staff with Duke Cards. Admission is also free to Nasher Museum members