museum news: Trustees adds deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum to its properties


Published reports broaching the merger surfaced in September 2018. Now it’s an official merger under the Trustees.

from Trustees

BREAKING NEWS: The residents of Lincoln have voted to approve The Trustees integration with the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, adding another special place to our properties!

The deCordova–along with its nearly 30 acres of beautiful landscapes and internationally acclaimed collection of more than 3,400 objects–will be a unique cultural site for The Trustees, and furthers our mission to connect people to inspiring places.

The town of Lincoln continues to retain ownership of its lands (most of the property) after this integration.

Boston and Lincoln, MA – March 23, 2019 – The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum are pleased to announce the two organizations received approval at The Town of Lincoln’s Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, March 23, 2019 to move forward with plans for integration. The nonprofit institutions have been collaborating and working closely together to pursue a permanent relationship that would bring deCordova under the umbrella of The Trustees. The positive vote is an important next step in the integration process, including the completion of a fundraising campaign by both organizations to secure the deCordova’s endowment, in order to ensure operational stability.

“We are so pleased to receive this vote of approval from The Town of Lincoln today and thank everyone from the community who came out to offer their support,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President & CEO. “Today’s vote brings us another step closer to realizing this important partnership between two organizations who believe in the power of connecting people to nature and culture through engaging art experiences. We look forward to the prospect of welcoming the deCordova into The Trustees family.”

“It has been gratifying to see the town leaders and so many residents stand behind our effort to join forces with The Trustees,” adds John Ravenal, deCordova’s Executive Director. “The partnership will be instrumental in securing and sustaining the future of this nationally recognized sculpture park and museum while also expanding its reach in joining with the Trustees. We deeply appreciate everyone who has played a role in helping us achieve this important milestone as we work toward completing the integration process.”

“The Town of Lincoln takes its responsibility as steward and landowner of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum very seriously and town officials have worked diligently to ensure transparency, public involvement, community input, and strong collaboration with The Trustees throughout this process,” said Tim Higgins, Town Manager. “We are pleased that our residents had the opportunity to understand the issue before their positive vote and the Town is thrilled to have found a partner that shares our core values,” he added.

DeCordova’s decision to pursue a permanent relationship with The Trustees came after a comprehensive strategic and financial planning process by its board and staff. An integration agreement was approved by both organizations’ boards and presented at the October 20, 2018 State of the Town meeting in Lincoln. It was then added to the agenda for a final vote by Lincoln residents at the March 23, 2019 Annual Town Meeting. The agreement was contingent upon the town’s vote to approve changes to the bylaws that govern the structure of deCordova’s Board, as well as the completion of a $15 million fundraising campaign which has a remaining gap of $3.5 million. Those who wish to donate may do so through deCordova’s website at or by calling 781.259.3628.

Upon completion of the remaining integration contingencies, deCordova would continue to operate as a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit under The Trustees umbrella and would continue to deliver its mission of contemporary exhibitions, art in the landscape, and innovative learning and engagement programs. In keeping with the wishes and will of Julian de Cordova who donated the property to the Town of Lincoln in 1948, the land and buildings would continue to be owned by the Town but maintained by The Trustees. Lincoln residents would continue to have free access to the grounds and museum. Check for more or for more information.

The Trustees is one of the Commonwealth’s largest nonprofits, with a membership of 140,000 people and a 128-year legacy of caring for iconic cultural and natural sites for the public’s use and enjoyment, currently including 117 special places across Massachusetts, such as Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, and World’s End in Hingham.

DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is the largest park of its kind in New England encompassing nearly 30 conserved acres, with a mission to inspire, educate, and delight with contemporary art from New England and beyond through sculptures in the landscape and museum exhibitions.

About The Trustees
Founded in the City of Boston by landscape architect and open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees is the nation’s first and the Commonwealth’s largest preservation and conservation nonprofit.. For more than 125 years, we have worked to preserve and protect dynamic natural and cultural sites–from beaches and community gardens, to farms, historic homesteads, designed landscapes, and hiking trails—for public use and enjoyment. Today we are working to engage a larger constituency of Massachusetts residents, members, visitors, and public and private partners in our work to help protect our beloved and fragile natural, ecological, cultural, and coastal sites for current and future generations. To learn more, visit

About deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Established in 1950 and located just twenty miles west of Boston, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is dedicated to fostering the creation and exploration of contemporary sculpture and art through a dynamic slate of rotating exhibitions, innovative learning opportunities, a constantly changing thirty-acre landscape of large-scale, outdoor, modern and contemporary sculpture, and site-specific installations. To learn more, visit

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