CINCINNATI — A record $11.75 million gift to the Cincinnati Art Museum will establish the Alice Bimel Endowment for Asian Art and enhance collections in the arts of South Asia, Greater Iran and Afghanistan, the museum announced Tuesday.
It’s the largest single monetary gift in the museum’s history. In sum, Alice and her husband, Carl Bimel, have donated more than $14 million in addition to significant collection objects, according to a release.
“It would be impossible to express in full our gratitude for what Carl and Alice Bimel have given to the public through their museum,” said museum director Cameron Kitchin.
The Bimels traveled extensively throughout Asia and collected miniature paintings and other South Asian works of art which are now in the museum's permanent collection.
The Bimels’ previous gifts included a ninth century carved stone pillar from the Pala dynasty depicting a Serpent King and Queen as well as Indian paintings created in the 17th and 18th centuries at the royal Hindu courts of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills.
Alice died in 2008 and Carl in 2013.
Alice was a museum volunteer for more than 40 years and was a member of the first docent class in 1960. In 1972, she was the first woman named to the museum’s board of trustees. She was one of the principal volunteers assisting with the museum’s fundraising efforts before the Development department was established in the fall of 1981.