The Cincinnati Art Museum announced that it has received a landmark gift from longtime supporters Carl and Alice Bimel. The couple bequeathed $11.75 million to the museum to establish the Alice Bimel Endowment for Asian Art, which will expand its collection of art from South Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan.
“The Bimels’ act of immense generosity will advance a key area of study that is immeasurably important and highly relevant in contemporary society,” said director Cameron Kitchin. “The Bimels gave countless volunteer hours, support and collections while they were with us. Now they add their vision to the future.”
Alice was a Cincinnati Art Museum volunteer for more than forty years, and was a member of the first docent class in 1960. In 1972, she was the first woman named to the museum’s board of trustees. She was also one of the principal volunteers assisting with the museum’s fundraising efforts before the development department was established in the fall of 1981. Alice died in 2008. In 2004, the Cincinnati Art Museum dedicated its courtyard to Alice in recognition of a major gift, and in 2006, Alice was awarded the Cincinnati Art Museum’s George Rieveschl Medal for Distinguished Service. Carl died in 2013. Among the artworks the couple gifted to the museum were a ninth century carved stone pillar from the Pala dynasty depicting a Serpent King and Queen and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Indian paintings created at the royal Hindu courts of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills.