Rachel McMasters Miller Hunt's botanical collections of books, art, manuscripts and portraits are known for their depth and fine quality, reflecting her enthusiasm and expertise in plants, gardens, books and history. She was determined that her collections be "living" resources—not only preserved but also curated actively and used productively in the service of science and scholarship. To those ends, we continue to develop and enhance the collections at Hunt Institute, working to make them accessible and to preserve them for the future. We have an international audience and a small but growing group of interested donors. You can help to strengthen our collections and programs through monetary and/or material gifts.
We gratefully recognize donations in a variety of ways, such as with a letter of thanks, mention in our Bulletin, in pertinent exhibition catalogues and on our Web site, and through the use of donor bookplates. Of course, donors who wish to remain anonymous could be listed as such or may decline any official mention.
Monetary and Material Gifts
Monetary donations to Hunt Institute are tax deductible. Monetary gifts may be applied to our general operating fund or to the endowment generously established by the Roy A. Hunt Foundation to provide ongoing support for Hunt Institute. In addition to building the collections, gifts can be used for archival storage supplies, conservation and repair of collection material, digitizing and databasing projects, and production of publications. If you would like to expedite a current project or enable us to begin one, please let us know; special project support is always welcome. Or consider giving to one of the following funds:
Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden Art Acquisition Fund
This fund is named in honor of Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden (1907–2007), whose passion for botanical art, science and education inspired a generation of artists. She regularly notified us of promising new artists and donated her own artworks to the Institute so that they could be preserved and accessible for study by botanical artists. This fund will enable us to support and recognize artists working in the genre of botanical art and will allow us to preserve artworks by the current generation for study by the next. Individuals, as well as botanical art societies and other organizations, may find this fund an attractive way to support the Hunt Institute.
Ronald L. Stuckey Endowment for the Preservation of Botanical History
In 2003 Dr. Ronald L. Stuckey, professor emeritus of botany at The Ohio State University, established the Ronald L. Stuckey Endowment for the Preservation of Botanical History at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. This fund will help us to acquire and preserve photographs, biographical sketches, obituaries of botanists and books on botanical history and bibliography. We are grateful for Dr. Stuckey's long-time interest in Hunt Institute, its collections and its mission. We welcome additional contributions to this fund from others who share our commitment to the preservation of botanical history.
If you wish to make a donation to our endowment, the Dowden Art Acquisition Fund or the Stuckey Endowment for the Preservation of Botanical History, please indicate your intentions explicitly either on your check or in your accompanying letter, note or form. Otherwise, all donations without accompanying documentation will be directed to our general operating fund.
Material gifts of artworks, books, papers, etc., are greatly appreciated. For more information about the types of material gifts that we are able to accept, please consult our curators. Material not suitable for the collections will be returned promptly to the donor, or the donor can choose for the Institute to sell the items to raise funds, to offer them to another library or (for published materials) to include them in the Institute's duplicate sales.
We are happy to provide a letter of acknowledgment and a list of the material received, along with short descriptions if needed, but we are not permitted by the IRS, nor are we sufficiently knowledgeable, to make appraisals on items donated to us. However, if we are aware of a prior comparable sale, we will share that information. If you have retained the purchase receipts connected with your gift(s), these might serve your tax purposes in lieu of an appraisal.
Memorial gifts are also welcome. Books can be marked with a donor bookplate upon request, acknowledging your gift in memory of or on behalf of someone. Your specified credit line can follow the title of the artwork on our exhibition label and in our catalogue and be included in the Web database of the collection of artworks in the Hunt Institute.
Other Types of Contributions
There are other ways that you can help. Take our biographical record forms to distribute at scientific or botanical art meetings to help swell our biographical files. If you see botanical biographies and obituaries, drop a note to our Archivist. Send us notices about botanists and botanical artists that appear in newspapers, magazines and other regional or non-botanical publications. A splendid contribution is your informing others of the Hunt Institute's role in botanical art and encouraging them to visit. Customized tours, including the current exhibition or emphasizing various aspects of the collections, can be arranged. If you know of a group that will be meeting in or visiting Pittsburgh, suggest that they contact us about a group visit to Hunt Institute.
Please don't hesitate to confer with us about any proposed gift, including its use and acknowledgment. We appreciate your involvement and thank you for your interest.