Since the 1990s, Hannah and Russ Kully have been actively involved with The Huntington. The Kullys have been Fellows for many years as well as members of the Art Collectors' Council. Russ is an Overseer, has served as chair of the Overseers' Art Collections committee, and currently resides as chairman of the Overseers.
The Kullys have taken a monumental step that underscores their belief that art is an important dimension of life and their commitment to The Huntington by pledging $3 million as a gift to endow the position of Director of the Art Collections. Our acting director, John Murdoch, is currently serving as the Hannah and Russ Kully Director of the Art Collections. The Kullys' gift also included an additional $1 million for general support of the art collections at the discretion of the board of trustees.
Finding a Gift that Works
"What made sense to us was to propose a large immediate gift, together with a pledge in the form of an enlarged bequest, which would give us the opportunity to leave a named legacy," Russ says. The Kullys knew that they did not have the ability to make a large gift right away; the greatest portion of their resources is primarily tied up in real estate, which they do not plan to sell for many years. "We rearranged our resources so as to generate an immediate gift funding a large portion of the art director's endowment, with the remainder coming by way of an irrevocable bequest payable out of our estate," Hannah explains.
They have also bequeathed Hannah's collection of American prints. This impressive collection of mostly black-and-white images was begun in the 1980s and continues to grow under the care of Hannah and her practiced eye and the collegial relationship with our curator of American Art.
An additional opportunity for giving presented itself through an act of Congress which has been renewed through 2011. Since the legislation was first passed in 2006, the Kullys have used current IRA provisions for charitable giving to The Huntington and other institutions. "For us, our IRA is ultimately committed to charitable purposes to avoid a rather shocking tax to our heirs. In addition the IRA gift itself is tax-neutral; in other words, we are able to make these gifts without a penalty and without an addition to ordinary taxable income (conversely there is no charitable deduction for this gift as well). And lastly, the IRA provisions have allowed us to achieve our optimum charitable goals at a time when we might not otherwise have been able to do so," Hannah says.
We are grateful to the Kullys for their overall generosity and the planning involved in creating their valuable gifts to The Huntington. If you would like to know how you can support The Huntington through a gift in your will or living trust, please contact Cris Lutz at (626) 405-2212 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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