Mohn Family Foundation Gives $2.5 Million to SAIC

Chicago—The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), one of the nation’s leading art and design schools, announced a $2.5 million gift from the Mohn Family Foundation to advance the school’s leadership in the area of contemporary art history.

The gift is the largest bestowed by parents of an SAIC alum and will support a first-of-its-kind professorship and fellowship within the school’s Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. The gift will endow the Mohn Family Professor of Contemporary Art History to recognize and support a distinguished faculty member, as well as the Mohn Family Graduate Fellow, who will collaborate with the Mohn Family Professor to generate primary research on projects to advance the understanding and impact of art history and criticism.

Art historian and longtime SAIC professor David Raskin was named the endowment’s first Mohn Family Professor of Contemporary Art History. Raskin’s work pursues art primarily produced between 1960 and 1985 and in particular, Minimalism and Postminimalism. His scholarly work and research has been acknowledged by many institutions, including fellowships awarded by the Smithsonian Institution, National Endowment for the Humanities, Wyeth Foundation for American Art, and the Whitney Museum. Raskin received SAIC’s Faculty of the Year award in 2009 for excellence in teaching.

“The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is grateful for this generous gift from the Mohn family, whose support ensures our faculty and students will continue to produce visionary and influential work in the field of contemporary art history for years to come,” said Walter E. Massey, President of SAIC. “David Raskin is an outstanding teacher and scholar, and I am thrilled to have him as our inaugural Mohn Family Professor of Contemporary Art History. I look forward to seeing the work completed under this endowment and know it will make the Mohn family proud.”

Jarl and Pamela Mohn, well-regarded contemporary art collectors, are the parents of Katrina Mohn who graduated with a Master of Arts degree in 2014. While studying in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, Katrina was mentored by Raskin. Jarl Mohn is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of National Public Radio.

“The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Professor David Raskin were instrumental in shaping my daughter’s knowledge and understanding of the art world and beyond, but also offered her and our family a sense of community that extends much further than the boundaries of the city of Chicago,” said Jarl Mohn. “We are part of the SAIC family, and we are honored to be giving back to the school that gave us so much.”

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers nationally accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and post-baccalaureate programs to more than 3,200 students from around the globe. SAIC also provides adults, high school students, and children with the opportunity to flourish in a variety of courses, workshops, certificate programs, and camps through its Continuing Studies program. Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC has an educational philosophy built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design, giving students unparalleled opportunities to develop their creative and critical abilities, while working with renowned faculty who include many of the leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC’s resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing; numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. For more information, please visit

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