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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Lynch Shares Art, and Booth Looks to Space

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A fair of famous fundsters are engaging in new, nearby philanthropy, one in the arts and the other in the sciences.

Peter Lynch
Former Magellan Fund Portfolio Manager
On May 11, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts kicked off a seven-month exhibition, entitled, "A Passion for American Art: Selections from the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Collection." Yes, that Peter Lynch, who has a home in nearby Marblehead. The exhibit features art that Peter Lynch and his late wife displayed in their various homes, and it includes furniture, paintings, sculpture, and more. The retired star Fidelity PM (who last week celebrated his 50th anniversary at the Boston Behemoth) even talked to a local paper about the exhibition and how the art was displayed in his homes.

"Every one, we selected together," Lynch tells the Salem News. "Every one has a memory of why we got it, and where we bought it."

"As you walk through this show, you really get a sense of what it is to walk through their home," Dean Lahikainen, curator of American decorative art at the museum, tells the paper. (Lahikainen's position was endowed by the Lynches.)

Then yesterday, Taft Armandroff, director of the McDonald Observatory and vice chair of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) Organization, confirmed that David Booth (executive chairman of Dimensional Fund Advisors, i.e. DFA) has pledged $10 million to the University of Texas at Austin (the observatory is part of UT Austin), which will contribute to the construction of the GMT (which will be built in Chile in partnership with 11 other universities). According to UT Austin, the GMT will be the world's biggest telescope, once completed: the idea is to have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope and to be able to see light that has been traveling for more than 13.4 billion years

"I was just blown away by what's going on in astronomy and what they hope to accomplish with this new telescope," Booth told the Austin American-Statesman. "It's stuff I don't understand at all, although I understand it's really important."

Booth's contribution, in cash over the next five years, will push UT Austin's GMT contribution up to $64 million, and the school aims to boost that to $100 million. Current estimates put the total cost of the GMT at up to $1.05 billion. 

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