Transformational gift brings new era for Miami Art Museum
The Miami University Art Museum now has a new name.
A transformational gift from longtime donor Richard Cocks has resulted in the 24,000-square-foot teaching museum being named the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum in honor of Richard and his late wife, Carole. The total amount of the gift is being kept private, but it is the largest outright gift in the museum’s more than 40-year history.
Richard Cocks also was awarded the President's Medal, which is a replica of the medallion worn by Miami University presidents during inaugurations and at other moments of ceremony. It represents the seal of Miami as approved by the Miami University Board of Trustees on Sept. 26, 1826.
“We are incredibly grateful to Richard and Carole for their tremendous support of the art museum throughout the years,” Miami University President Gregory Crawford said. “Their generosity will enable us to provide more dynamic programming and exciting new art exhibits and enhance our visitor experience.”
This new gift will help fund programmatic renovations and contribute to future expansions of the museum, which was founded in 1978. The museum houses five galleries of rotating and ongoing exhibitions and a growing permanent collection of more than 17,500 artworks from around the world.
“Through this major gift, we’re so proud that our building will be named the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum, and we’re excited about the future opportunities that this will bring,” said Jack Green, the Jeffrey Horrell ’75 and Rodney Rose Director and Chief Curator at the museum.
“We want the art museum to become more of a destination for visitors, as well as fulfill our mission as a teaching museum that engages in dialogue with and about visual culture.”
As part of the Richard and Carole Cocks Fund, the gift will also support the acquisition and maintenance of collections.
“My family and I are delighted to support the museum with this gift. In addition to its excellent collections, the museum building is an architecturally significant structure, sited on an almost perfect parcel at the southeast entrance to the Miami campus,” Richard Cocks said.
Richard and Carole began collecting art in 1970. Their connection to the museum began in 1983, with Richard and Carole having donated numerous artworks and other gifts over the years to Miami. Their latest donation of 13 paintings includes a Frank Duveneck, two Edward Henry Potthasts, and an Elizabeth Nourse, plus four statues gifted to the College of Creative Arts (CCA).
Richard is a chemical engineer, retiring in 1994 from active practice. Originally from Long Island, he’s had a lifelong interest in real estate, particularly farm properties, and is a 57-year resident of Indian Hill. He and Carole were members of the American Art Society of Cincinnati and served as co-presidents of the organization from 2008-2010. AASC is composed of 150 collectors in the Greater Cincinnati area.
The art museum, which is part of CCA and free and open to the public, is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
“This milestone in our history will set us on course toward future enhancements to make the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum at Miami University a center for excellence in collections-based teaching, as well as a destination for exhibitions, programs, and events for everyone across the university and wider community,” Green said.