Kenneth R. Woodcock, a trustee of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, has contributed $2 million to the institution to endow the position of curator of historical American art, PAFA has announced.

Anna O. Marley currently holds the post, overseeing a collection that showcases works from such artists as Charles Willson Peale, Thomas Eakins, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

“PAFA maintains a distinguished and enduring legacy as a national leader in the collection, study, and exhibition of historical American art,” Woodcock said in a statement this week, adding that "it is a pleasure and a privilege to endow this curatorial position and to play a role in ensuring that this legacy endures into the future.”

Woodcock, who was a founder of AES Corp., an energy company, has been a PAFA trustee since 2015. He has provided substantial support for PAFA’s archives and for PAFA First, the institutional capital campaign aimed at expanding and modernizing facilities and programs on the PAFA campus at Broad and Cherry Streets in Center City.

Kevin F. Donohoe, PAFA board chair, dubbed the Woodcock gift historic, and predicted it would inspire “greater and more ambitious projects in the field of historical American art.”

Brooke Davis Anderson, PAFA museum director (also an endowed position), said the institutional mission “is to tell the full and sweeping story of American art."

The Woodcock gift, she said, comes at a “challenging and uncertain contemporary moment." But the “forward-looking gift” insures that the curator of historical American art “will continue to be central to that mission in the years to come.”