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Art Institute Endowment Among Most Valuable In Nation

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 25, 2013 11:00PM

Photo credit: sbooththesalient

The 10 richest cultural institutions in America have a combined endowment value of $8 billion. That’s according to The Financialist, which broke down numbers from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The Art Institute of Chicago ranked fourth on the list with an endowment value of $837,797,000. It’s a resounding return for the Art Institute’s endowment, which was waylaid in 2001 by its high hedge fund allocation. The endowment, then worth $667 million, lost $43 million in a bad hedge fund investment. A new investment strategy allowed the Art Institute to rebuild its endowment and position it for future growth. A 2008 article in Pension and Investment noted the museum’s targets for diversification include “26 percent to public equities, 26 percent to private investments, 16 percent to real assets (including real estate), 22 percent to hedge funds and 10 percent to fixed income and cash.”

The Art Institute also benefited from donations like the $19 million, 2006 from Anne Dias Griffin and Kenneth C. Griffin to help build out the museum’s Modern Wing.

The largest endowment held by a cultural institution belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. That institution received a $65 million donation from David H. Koch of Koch Industries and a $20 million from socialite Brooke Astor