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Hirshhorn gift to fund contemporary art purchases

Tuesday - 3/25/2014, 1:40pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum has received a $1 million gift to fund the acquisition of paintings and drawings by contemporary American and British artists.

The museum announced the donation Tuesday from artist and philanthropist Basil Alkazzi. The artist also has made major gifts to the Royal College of Art in London and to the New York Foundation for the Arts.

In a statement, Alkazzi says he admires the Hirshhorn's commitment to emerging artists. Alkazzi is British and was born in Kuwait.

Kerry Brougher, the Hirshhorn's interim director and chief curator, says Alkazzi's gift will allow the museum to enhance its holdings of paintings and drawings by key figures in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.


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