Legacy Planning Opportunities

Planned Giving

The museum was founded on a steadfast belief in legacy with a vision to improve communities and the lives of future generations. This heartfelt and forward-thinking conviction guides the Museum of Wisconsin Art today.



Planned Gifts

Designating Your Gift

Define Your Legacy

When a gift to MOWA becomes part of your legacy, you help ensure that the museum will continue to fulfill its special role in the state for generations to come. You enable the museum’s founding vision to improve lives and communities in ways only art can accomplish.


There are many planned giving vehicles that can support both your charitable and personal financial goals. Making a planned gift—whether by including a bequest to the museum in your will or by naming MOWA as the beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust, life insurance policy, or retirement fund—provides essential support for the museum’s future. Gift planning can offer significant tax advantages and, in some cases, generate lifetime income for you or your chosen beneficiary.

Planned gifts can also endow specific interests—such as a curatorial, learning, or art acquisition endowment. If you anticipate your bequest will be $250,000 or larger, you may wish to establish a named endowment to support a specific department or area of the museum.

Ways to Leave a Lasting Legacy

Planned Giving

The Founders Circle

In 1961, one visionary woman established a museum in her hometown. Today, that community gallery has evolved into the vital cultural center, educational institution, and expanding network of ideas that is the Museum of Wisconsin Art.


Melitta Hedwig Suder-Pick was seventy-five years old when she initiated this venture. Because of her passion and vision, now some six decades later, MOWA is an exciting platform for the art and artists of our time and a beacon for the future of arts and culture in our state.

When you make a planned gift by including MOWA in your estate plan, you are eligible for membership in The Founder’s Circle. Members receive special recognition and benefits.

Meet Founder’s Circle Members

Founder’s Circle Member

Dr. James and Karen Hyde

“Our legacy is linked to the good work of our community’s institutions, of which MOWA has been one of our most cherished for over thirty years.”  –James Hyde


Longtime supporters of MOWA, the Hydes’s interest in Wisconsin art began over thirty years ago. They started acquiring work that they liked and had an idea to initiate a modest collection for the museum that enhanced strengths or filled gaps in the collection.

Their extraordinary commitment to building for the future further inspired them to fund a named endowment as part of their estate plan to support the executive director position.

Founder’s Circle Member

Ellen Drought

“For me, it’s about passing along more than assets and capital, it’s about laying foundations that create stability and support the long-term vitality of MOWA.”  –Ellen Drought


Ellen Drought’s Wisconsin art ancestry runs deep. She is a descendant of artist Louis Mayer, the Milwaukee-born painter and sculptor who studied with Richard Lorenz, both of whom are represented in MOWA’s permanent collection.

As a past board president, Ellen Drought understands MOWA’s culture and is enthusiastic about its future, choosing to include the museum in her estate plan. For this attorney at Godfrey & Kahn specializing in investment management law, financial planning is second nature. She knows that investing in the future of institutions is crucial.


We invite you to reach out to the MOWA Development Office for more information and to discuss your interests.