Generous Gift Allows Florida Tech to Build Textiles Museum

MELBOURNE, FLA.— At the gala opening of the Funk Textiles Gallery in the university’s Crawford Building, Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese made a surprise announcement. He announced that Ruth Funk, artist, teacher, arts patron and the gallery’s namesake, had just donated $1.25 million to create a 10,000-square-foot facility to house a fiber arts and textiles gallery. With a projected budget of $1.5 million, the university has agreed to make up the difference by providing $250,000.
The facility, which will become the only textiles museum in Florida, will be named the Ruth Funk Textile Arts Gallery. To be built adjacent to Evans Library in the heart of campus, the building will comprise a state-of-the-art exhibition area and an environmentally-controlled collection storage space.
Ruth Funk has donated to the university hundreds of items of ethnic textiles from around the world, jewelry and cultural artifacts of artistic and historic value. She has enriched Evans Library’s holdings with a donation of more than 400 books and made possible the university’s first course in textiles, which debuted this fall. The exhibit in the new gallery is “Traditional Textiles of India.”
“Ruth has expanded our humanities programs in ways few of us dared to dream. You might say she is helping us to develop our “right brain” orientation. We know we
excel in the logic and analysis of the left-brain mode of thinking, but now Ruth is bringing
a wholeness to the university,” said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese.
The new exhibit space is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2 to 4 p.m., or by appointment. Carla Funk (no relation) is the curator. She is at (321) 674-6129.
PHOTO: Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese announces Ruth Funk’s textile arts museum donation at the opening of the Funk Textiles Gallery on campus. Funk is at right.

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