Anchorage Museum receives $1 million gift from family of one of its founders
December 15, 2014
The Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center gratefully acknowledges Verna von der Heydt and her late husband, Judge James A. von der Heydt, for their recent contribution of $1 million to support museum collections and exhibitions.
The von der Heydts’ gift funds a new curatorial position at the Anchorage Museum named in their honor, the Judge James A. and Verna von der Heydt curator. The von der Heydt curator oversees curatorial practices across disciplines and provides administrative leadership in the development and implementation of visitor-centered curatorial content. Angela Demma serves as the von der Heydt curator. Demma joined the Anchorage Museum in November 2014. She most recently held the position of curator for the Municipality of Anchorage’s 1% for Art Program.
Judge von der Heydt served on the United States District Court for the District of Alaska and was one of the founding members of the Anchorage Fine Arts Commission and first president of the Anchorage Fine Arts Museum Association, now the Anchorage Museum Association (AMA). He served on both the AMA and Anchorage Museum Foundation boards for many years and had a particular passion for the conservation and growth of the museum collection. He was an avid painter, and several of his pieces are held in the museum collection. Verna von der Heydt was an active museum volunteer for more than 20 years, and along with Judge von der Heydt, provided significant and ongoing financial support to the museum, as well as significant gifts of artwork.
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to connect people, expand perspectives and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at anchoragemuseum.org.