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$14 million art donation from Linda and J. Randolph Lewis
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$14 million art donation from Linda and J. Randolph Lewis

The Figge Art Museum is establishing the Linda and J. Randolph Lewis Wing, made possible by the extraordinary generosity of Dr. Randy and Linda Lewis of Davenport, Iowa.

The Lewises’ remarkable gift of 44 works of modern and contemporary American art valued at $14 million by Christie’s, New York, marks a momentous addition to the Figge’s collection.

Linda and Randy Lewis of Davenport are donating 44 American artworks to the Figge Art Museum, valued at $14 million.

For 50 years, the Lewises have passionately collected works by influential artists such as Romare Bearden, Milton Avery, Marsden Hartley, Helen Frankenthaler and Alice Neel. These artworks embody the innovative spirit and diverse perspectives of American art over the last century, the Figge said, noting their donation will significantly enhance the Figge’s collection and fill crucial gaps in the museum’s galleries.

“We are deeply grateful to Dr. Randy and Linda Lewis for their visionary contribution,” said Melissa Mohr, interim executive director of the Figge Art Museum, 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport. “The impact of this gift on our museum and community cannot be overstated. The Linda and J. Randolph Lewis Wing will stand as a cornerstone of the Figge’s mission to bring art and people together, fostering creativity and cultural understanding, and inspiring dialogue.

“This is indeed a transformative moment for the Figge Art Museum and for the broader cultural landscape of the Quad Cities,” Mohr said.

The Lewises’ journey from their upbringing in northern Ontario, Canada and immigrating to the U.S. to becoming prominent art collectors and supporters in Davenport, underscores the profound impact of philanthropy.

Their dedication to art and community is evident in their more than three decades of involvement with the Figge, serving in volunteer, staff, and leadership roles, the museum release said.

“We’ve lived in Davenport for 36 years, and this community has been very good to us. It just seems easy to do this, and to know that people will enjoy it, and that it will be here for a long time,” the couple said in the release.

“When you are nearing the end of your life—and we are—you start to think about what you’re leaving behind, what of value you have to leave future generations. It makes us feel good to give back to the community,” the Lewises said.

Their gift of 44 artworks will help the museum attract more visitors locally, nationally and internationally, contributing to the museum’s ongoing success and vitality.

“The Lewis Collection features exemplary works by influential American artists. While the Figge’s collection is strong in areas like Regionalism, Spanish Colonial art and Haitian art, we have relatively few examples of artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries by artists that feature prominently in the art historical canon,” said Joshua Johnson and Vanessa Sage, co-senior curators at the Figge.

“Linda and Randy’s gift transforms the Figge’s collection in a way that would have otherwise been unimaginable. Due to their generosity, the museum will be able to share the more complete story of art,” they added.

Inspired by the philanthropic legacies of Dr. Walter Neiswanger and Charles A. Ficke, the Lewises hope to encourage other collectors to consider how their collections might benefit their communities and future generations, the Figge said.

Beginning this summer, visitors will have the opportunity to view pieces from the Lewis Collection in the newly dedicated Linda and J. Randolph Lewis Wing on the second floor of the Figge Art Museum (formerly the permanent collection galleries).

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