The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake,(ADKX) has received a $500,000 grant from the Challenge Grants program of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a federal agency. The funds will help support the $2.25M construction cost of the Artists & Inspiration in the Wild project. As part of the Challenge Grant requirements, ADKX must match the funds 3:1. ADKX is in the final phase of fundraising for this project during which they will be seeking funds to match the NEH Challenge Grant. Currently ADKX has raised $3M of the $4.5M overall cost of the project. This grant was secured following a highly competitive application and review process. NEH receives funding requests from across the U.S. and makes grants to a select few. Just eight Challenge Grants were made at the $500,000 level or more in the current round of NEH funding. In addition to ADKX, other recipients included the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a Carnegie library in Braddock, Pennsylvania, and WETA, which serves Washington, DC.
This funding will support the renovation of a 6,200-square-foot exhibition space dedicated to the museum’s fine and decorative art collection. Planned upgrades to an existing building will make possible the first permanent home with appropriate climate controls and gallery spaces for this collection. Once completed in 2023, the building will provide permanent galleries dedicated to the most comprehensive showing of the ADKX collection of art in the museum’s 60-plus-year history. Artists & Inspiration in the Wild will include masterpieces from the museum’s painting, decorative arts, furniture, print, drawing, and photograph collections placed in the context of the landscape that inspired their creation. As noted by environmentalist Bill McKibben, on view will be what were, in all probability, the first photographs that brought the wholesale destruction of forestland to Americans’ attention.