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THE CITADELLE ART FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES SUPPORTING ORGANIZATION RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AMARILLO AREA FOUNDATION

Jon Long

CANADIAN, Texas—February 26, 2014—The Citadelle Art Foundation, owner and operator of the Abraham mansion, grounds, furnishings, and decorative arts in Canadian, Texas, is pleased to announce that it has become a Supporting Organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation.

"On February 13, 2014, the Board of the Citadelle Art Foundation voted to approve the change in the bylaws and articles of incorporation and to ask the Amarillo Area Foundation to consider approving this designation," stated Clay Stribling, Amarillo Area Foundation President and CEO. The Board of Directors of the Amarillo Area Foundation approved the proposal at their regular meeting on February 25, 2014. The Citadelle will join the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation and Harrington House as the third Supporting Organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation.

A Citadelle Art Foundation Endowment Fund was established in 2012 at the Amarillo Area Foundation by Dr. Malouf and Therese Abraham to provide permanent funding to the Citadelle Art Foundation to maintain and operate the mansion, buildings and grounds. The purpose of this gift is to preserve the Canadian, Texas historic home, contents, buildings, and grounds as a museum for the benefit of the public for generations to come. The Citadelle Art Foundation, under the oversight and supervision of its Board of Directors, remains responsible for preserving, maintaining, managing and operating the mansion, its grounds, buildings, furnishings, decorative arts and fine arts.

Wendie Cook, Citadelle Art Foundation director, remarked, "This is incredibly exciting for the solidarity of the arts in Canadian. From the very beginning, the Abrahams have promised The Citadelle as a gift to our community. Today, true to their word, that gift has come to fruition as we have spread our wings into the Texas Panhandle and beyond. Museum building is a rare and treasured opportunity. I am honored to be part of this project and I'm thrilled about our future." According to Mr. Stribling, "The major change in this new structure will be the expansion of the Citadelle Board of Directors to include nine additional members appointed by the Amarillo Area Foundation. These members will come from Amarillo Area Foundation's current board, staff, and members of the Foundation."

Although the Citadelle Art Foundation will now be a Supporting Organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation, it will continue to operate under supervision of its new Board of Directors. The Executive Director will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the museum.

Current vendor relationships will continue with institutions in Canadian and the surrounding communities. The two organizations (Amarillo Area Foundation and The Citadelle Art Foundation) will continue to operate as separate entities. The Amarillo Area Foundation will manage investment assets through the Citadelle Art Foundation Endowment Fund. The Citadelle Art Foundation Board of Directors will be responsible for developing resources and encouraging charitable contributions for educational programing.

The Abrahams' art collection began when they acquired Norman Rockwell's painting, 'The First Day of School.' The collection now includes original works by internationally known artists such as J. C. Leyendecker, William Bouguereau, and Jessie Smith Wilcox. They purchased sought-after paintings, sculpture, and artifacts and began their dream of sharing their world-class collection and ultimately donating it to a public charity. That dream became reality on May 31, 2004 as their historic home and gardens were gifted to the Citadelle Art Foundation. Today, the museum's permanent collection stands solidly in perpetuity. As Dr. Abraham explained, "Therese and I are confident that our decision will benefit the people of Canadian and beyond. With the new partnership with Amarillo Area Foundation, everybody is a winner. It is a giant step forward in the development of this region." He went on to state, "The Citadelle is so much more than just a bunch of really good paintings hanging around the walls. Fifteen or twenty years ago, The Dallas Morning News described 'rooms furnished with art and antiques that rival the White House.' Therese and I knew that we needed to make some major Directives. If it was all to stay as we had placed it in our pretty little town of Canadian, we would also have to provide the proper endowment for it." He continued, "We have established the Directives and we have created the Endowment. This partnership with Amarillo Area Foundation guarantees that the institution and its endowment will continue to enrich people long after we are gone."

Charlotte Rhodes, Vice President of the Amarillo Art Foundation and Citadelle Art Foundation Project Consultant since 2005, commented, "It has been a privilege to see this project evolve into a world-class art museum. The Abrahams have viewed this exciting journey as their art legacy for future generations to 'Discover Art, Discover Canadian'."

Over 12,000 visitors have toured the home and gallery. Shows have included works by Linda Leyendecker Gutierrez, which became a PBS feature film; the Smithsonian's National Geographic's Greatest Portraits; Marc Chagall; Mary Cassatt; J. C. Leyendecker; and Clyde Butcher, which was nominated for the 2013 National Medal of Arts Award. The most recent show, 'Where Children Sleep', was seen by more than 1600 students from over twelve school districts across the Texas Panhandle. Many travelled more than 250 miles to experience the art. One teacher from an elementary school in Amarillo stated, "It was inspiring to see so many children realize that they can indeed rise above their own personal strife and continue to work hard to better themselves."

Julie Mitchell, Chairman of the 2014 Amarillo Area Foundation Board of Directors, expressed her excitement about the partnership with Citadelle Art Foundation, "The Amarillo Area Foundation is honored to welcome the Citadelle Art Foundation as a supporting organization. This collection of art is truly a gift of the heart from the founders, Malouf and Therese Abraham, to the residents of the Panhandle of Texas. Future generations will benefit from their generosity. Our Foundation will work diligently with the Citadelle's Board and Staff to preserve and maintain the museum and the cultural and artistic heritage of Canadian, Texas and the Panhandle."

 

Press Contact:
Charlotte Rhodes, ACFRE
Vice President of Regional Services
Amarillo Area Foundation
801 S. Fillmore, Suite 700
Amarillo, TX 79101
(806) 376-4521
(806) 678-4411