Museum gets $2 million gift to renovate former galleryWritten by Betsy Woodruff | | email@example.com
The Toledo Art Museum will begin to renovate its former glass gallery to house its growing collection of modern and contemporary art, thanks to a donation of $2 million from Frederic “Fritz” and Mary Wolfe, longtime friends of the museum.
“This is a tremendous thrill for us,” Mary said. “We dearly love this museum.”
Fritz added, “We can’t think of anything we’d rather do.”
The Wolfes have been attending the museum for 40 years.
Fritz lived in the Old West End for five years when he was young, and one of his sisters often took art classes on Saturday mornings at the museum.
When Mary taught art history classes at Bowling Green University, she would take her students to the museum to view the exhibits.
She also had a acrylic painting of her own, “The Red Woman,” displayed as part of the Area Artists exhibit.
“They have been so committed to this community,” said Betsy Brady, the chair of the museum’s Board of Directors. She called their gift transformational, saying that it has enabled the beginning of the construction of the new gallery, which will be called the Frederic and Mary Wolfe Gallery in their honor.
It will house the museum’s growing collection of contemporary and modern art. Moving some of these pieces into the new gallery will open up extra space for the exhibits of Asian and African art.
Brady said that the current galleries for the museum’s collections of modern and contemporary pieces are too limited and out-of-date to keep up with its growing collection. The new gallery will help remedy these inadequacies.
The gallery itself will be 6000 square feet and will have a partial mezzanine, Brady said.
Rob Bigelow, the museum’s interim director, said he hopes the Wolfe’s gift will inspire similar contributions so they can finish the renovation.
He also said that the renovation of the gallery will allow the museum to reintroduce its collections of modern and contemporary works to the art community.
The renovation will affect most of the East Wing galleries, which will be closed and reopened over the next two to three years as the renovation happens.
Tags: Toledo Musuem of Art