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$25 million gift to art institute from John and Alexandra Nichols
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$25 million gift to art institute from John and Alexandra Nichols

A $25 million gift from the John D. and Alexandra C. Nichols Family Foundation will support aspirational campus evolution and visitor-centered spaces at the Art Institute of Chicago, focusing on the Nichols Family Skyline Garden.

This continues the generosity that Alexandra and her husband John Nichols has been committed to the Art Institute of Chicago for decades, including the Nichols Bridgeway that spans Monroe Street and links the museum to Millennium Park.

The Nichols family’s ongoing commitment to the Art Institute of Chicago totals nearly $50 million over 43 years in support of enhancing visitor experiences through our world-class collection, constructing new space in our ever-evolving campus, and investing in the future of the cultural community and civic life in downtown Chicago.

“The Nichols family embodies the ethos of our museum,” said James Rondeau, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago. “This latest gift is not only an example of the Nichols family’s remarkable legacy of philanthropy but also Alexandra’s unwavering trust and commitment to the future growth of the institution.”

“The Art Institute of Chicago has always exemplified a vision of innovation and growth that benefits the city of Chicago,” said Alexandra Nichols. “This gift from my family is a way to continue the legacy of support for the Art Institute that my husband and I began decades ago.”

Following John’s tenure as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Alexandra has served as a Trustee at the Art Institute of Chicago since 2005. She is also currently a member of the Painting and Sculpture of Europe Advisory Committee and has been a lead sponsor of numerous exhibitions from that department, including Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity and Cezanne. She previously served on the Modern Wing Oversight Committee and was an Honorary Member of the Woman’s Board for several years.

Beyond a long-standing commitment to the Art Institute of Chicago, Alexandra, along with John, have been avid supporters of the Chicago area’s thriving arts community, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, WTTW/Channel 11, the Music Institute of Chicago, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Writer’s Theater. Alexandra also invests in the culture of the city through the John D. and Alexandra C. Nichols Family Foundation, which was established to support arts, culture, and education. She is a longtime supporter of UCAN in North Lawndale and a member of its President’s Board. Additionally, she has been a longtime supporter of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Their dedication to these organizations serves as a model of enlightened philanthropy. Additionally, their generosity has been on par with commitment of time and service, adding valuable insight and expertise in leadership roles on numerous boards and committees of these cultural institutions.

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