October 31, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Springfield Art Museum launches crowdfunding campaign to permanently reunite Crenshaws

two individual painted portraits of l a d and fanny crenshawIn July, the Springfield Art Museum reunited a husband-and-wife pair of portraits – L.A.D. and Fanny Crenshaw – by artist George Caleb Bingham after a century-long separation. Now, the museum wants to permanently reunite the couple via a crowdfunding campaign to purchase the portrait of L.A.D., which is currently on loan to the museum from Rachael Cozad Fine Art in Kansas City. Both portraits are hanging side-by-side in the "Creating an American Identity" exhibition.

The museum has raised more than $30,000 toward the $45,000 purchase price and has set a goal of raising $10,000 within 45 days using CauseMomentum.org, a crowd funding platform developed by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks. Find the project at www.causemomentum.org/projects/crenshaw. All donations are tax deductible.

"The crowdfunding model seemed perfect for this acquisition," Museum Director Nick Nelson said. "The museum's art collection is the community's art collection. We hope that this campaign will not only provide funding to get the painting, but will provide everyone participating with a sense of ownership of the Museum's collection. We hope the museum's art collection can serve as a point of civic pride."

Major gifts to the acquisition have been made by the Southwest Missouri Museum Associates (SMMA), the McQueary Family, and Friends of the Springfield Art Museum (FOSAM). The Museum will launch fundraising efforts via Cause Momentum beginning Nov. 1 and will host a reception and check presentation recognizing SMMA and other donors from 5:30-7 p.m., Nov. 14 at the museum.

Attendees will be able to contribute to the campaign that evening as well. Those interested in participating can donate anywhere from $1 to $1,000 or more toward the acquisition at www.causemomentum.org/projects/crenshaw beginning Nov. 1.

About the Crenshaws

According to the Crenshaws' descendants, the couple was personal friends with Bingham, who painted them as a pair circa 1869. They are buried in Maple Park Cemetery.

L.A.D. was one of the earliest settlers of Greene County and Springfield, moving to the area from Nashville in 1841. By 1848, he had acquired 1,200 acres of land and was considered one of the community's most prominent citizens. His wife, Fanny, characterized her husband as "a warm friend and a fearless enemy."

Fanny, also from Nashville, moved to Springfield in 1855 and married L.A.D. in 1867. Crenshaw family history describes her as a 'strong-minded character' and talented in music and art – creating oil paintings into her later years.

The portrait of Fanny has been with the Springfield Art Museum since 1990, when her daughter, Clara Crenshaw Early, donated it. The portrait of L.A.D. remained in the possession of the Crenshaw family and is currently on loan to the Springfield Art Museum from Rachael Cozad Fine Art in Kansas City. The portraits will hang side-by-side in an upcoming exhibition of the museum's collection titled, Creating an American Identity, which will open July 27 in the Musgrave Wing.

"These are significant paintings for so many reasons," says Sarah Buhr, Springfield Art Museum curator of art. "They are historically significant as portraits of Springfield's first settlers and early city leaders; artistically as examples of George Caleb Bingham's late works, andalso for the museum as we complete a pendant pair – husband and wife portraits. We hope this installation will give the Crenshaws time to 'catch up' from their century-long separation."

Admission to the Springfield Art Museum is free. The Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 E. Brookside Drive. Formore information, call 417-837-5700 or visit www.springfieldmo.gov/art. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursdays; 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; and 1-5 p.m., Sundays. The museum is closed on Mondays and on national holidays.

For more information, contact: Director Nick Nelson, nnelson@springfieldmo.gov, at 417-837-5700.

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Springfield Art Museum

1111 E. Brookside • Springfield, MO 65804
417-837-5700 • springfieldmo.gov/art