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Local museums receive grants from MIT-based Museum Loan Network

Three Boston-area art museums are among 20 institutions across the country to receive grants in the second funding cycle of the MIT-based Museum Loan Network, a program designed to facilitate collection-sharing among American museums.

The Museum of Fine Arts and the Children's Museum (both in Boston) and the Higgins Armory Museum of Worcester each received surveying grants to research and identify objects from their collections in order to make them available, through the Network, for long-term loan to other institutions.

Grants of $10,000 apiece were awarded for surveying of the following collections: Museum of Fine Arts, Egyptian and Nubian ancient stone vessels; the Children's Museum, Native American art; Higgins Armory Museum, arms and armor.

A total of $180,000 was awarded by the Museum Loan Network upon recommendation of the advisory committee, made up of members of the national museum community and headed by Stephen Weil, Emeritus Senior Scholar at the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Museum Studies.

"I am pleased with the enthusiastic response to this program by Boston-area museums and hundreds of others across the country," said Museum Loan Network Director Lori Gross. "It's especially gratifying that so many museums like these have come forward early on in the program to be potential lenders."

The Museum Loan Network, which was announced in October 1995, was created by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts to encourage and facilitate the long-term borrowing and lending of art objects among United States museums to increase the public's access to a wealth of objects currently in storage. Administered through the Office of the Arts, the Museum Loan Network is helping these organizations bring to light thousands of artworks that are currently inaccessible to the public while simultaneously broadening collections of borrowing museums.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 11, 1996.

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