Boston museum accepts the largest corporate donation in its history

BOSTON - State Street Corp. will soon have its name at the entrances to two of Boston's best-known museums now that it has agreed to donate $10 million to the Museum of Fine Arts.

State Street's gift to the Museum of Fine Arts for its nearly $500 million renovation and expansion project represents the largest corporate donation in the museum's history. In recognition of the gift, the MFA said on Monday that it will name the museum's entrance off the Fenway the ``State Street Fenway Entrance'' when it reopens next spring.

The donation follows a $3 million donation that the Boston-based financial services company made to the Institute of Contemporary Art's new museum on the South Boston waterfront last year. That museum's lobby has been named after State Street.

So far, the MFA has raised nearly $415 million for its 133,500-square-foot expansion project. When the State Street Fenway entrance opens next spring across from the Back Bay Fens after being closed for more than two decades, it will mark the first major construction milestone in the MFA project.

State Street Corp. has been a supporter of the MFA for at least 20 years.

``We're pleased to support the Museum of Fine Arts at this important time in its history as it re-energizes its connection with Boston, the Fenway, and its neighbors through the re-opening of the Fenway doors,'' State Street CEO Ronald Logue said in a prepared statement. ``We see the museum's building project as an extension of its strong cultural leadership in Boston and its commitment to the communities it serves, which are values we strongly share at State Street.''

Besides the refurbished Fenway entrance, the MFA's building project includes the construction of a new wing dedicated to American art along Forsyth Way, the creation of a new glass-enclosed courtyard, and the renovation of existing galleries. The project is slated to be done in late 2010.

State Street, the biggest publicly traded company based in Boston, also became the largest corporate contributor to the ICA's $62 million capital campaign last year with its $3 million donation.