June 18, 2024


Art Shines Through

Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill announces “transformative” $10 million gift

The Woodmere Art Museum on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill has received a $10 million reward from the Maguire Foundation, which will allow for total renovation of a nearby historic estate obtained just months ago into key gallery and classroom room for the museum.

The mansion, previously a home owned by the Sisters of Saint Joseph and referred to as St. Michael’s Corridor, will be absolutely renovated and renamed the Frances M. Maguire Corridor for Art and Education and learning.

William Valerio, Woodmere’s director and chief govt, called the reward and the renovation project it will totally fund, “transformative” for the museum.

The $10 million is the greatest present in Woodmere’s heritage, he mentioned.

“It’s a large, large transformative thing for Woodmere and for everybody associated and for Philadelphia’s artists and for Philadelphia so I’m actually thrilled about that,” Valerio said Tuesday.

“The principal point to be manufactured below is that Woodmere’s selection is a person of the excellent collections of American art, and it is been sitting right here in plain sight for fairly some time,” Valerio ongoing. “It’s just in no way had the visibility to be recognized as an important selection. What this does for Woodmere is it puts it on the map of nationwide museums of American art that must be reckoned with and thought of distinct.”

Frances M. Maguire was a well-regarded Chestnut Hill artist and patron who with her husband, James J. Maguire, designed the Maguire Foundation. She served on the Woodmere board for various a long time and died in 2020.

The Woodmere collection is comprised of about 9,500 artworks, with distinct toughness in operate by Violet Oakley, the Pink Rose Women (Oakley, Jessie Wilcox Smith, and Elizabeth Shippen Green), and Arthur B. Carles and his circle of painters and printmakers. Far more lately, the museum has been constructing its holdings of present-day Philadelphia artists as effectively as artists of colour.

“Philadelphia has one of the terrific tales of artwork in The us given that the 18th century and that’s what this selection is about,” stated Valerio, but the museum, which occupies an previous Victorian mansion a few of residences away from its new residence, has by no means had the house to display screen the selection thoroughly, he reported.

James Alexandre, Woodmere’s board chair, named the reward “a signature minute, not just for Woodmere but for Philadelphia and its community of artists.”

Most of the 17,000 sq. toes of area contained in what will be Maguire Corridor will provide as galleries and community spaces. It will also consist of the museum’s new Really like Youngsters Art Center, which Valerio dubbed “a video game-changer,” growing the museum’s potential to present programming for schoolchildren and family members.

Valerio explained the aim is to have the making totally renovated and in use by the stop of 2024.

“We hope to have our permits by December or January at the most current and we anticipate a calendar year and a 50 percent of design,” he stated.

Woodmere initial discovered in March 2021 that the Sisters of Saint Joseph, owners of St. Michael’s Hall, supposed to promote it. With the opportunity of advancement doorways away on a roomy and leafy four-acre parcel, the museum rallied its Chestnut Hill neighbors, garnering neighborhood aid and contributions, letting for its buy for $2.5 million in Oct of 2021.

Maguire Hall was at first developed in 1854 as a region estate for the household of Maria Louisa Farr Trotter and William Henry Trotter, an importer of steel, copper, and tin. In the 1890s, the property was renovated by sugar merchant Alfred C. Harrison, doing the job with Cope and Stevenson, a distinguished Philadelphia organization at the time.

For the Maguire Hall project, the lead architect will be Matthew Baird Architects of New York. Baird will be doing work in partnership with Krieger + Associates Architects and Andropogon Associates, the landscape architects.

“For Woodmere, the assortment has generally been in the dim, it is usually been anything taken for granted,” stated Valerio. “Woodmere was outlined by its creating, by this huge Victorian tower in Chestnut Hill. It was not described by its collection the way the Philadelphia Museum of Art is outlined by Marcel Duchamp and outlined by Thomas Eakins …

“For Woodmere, we are Violet Oakley, we are Arthur B. Carles. We are Edith Neff. We are Larry Working day. We are the multicultural spectrum of present-day artwork in Philadelphia currently.”

Maguire Corridor will have “galleries devoted to Philadelphia, contemporary artists, and will be the only museum in the town of Philadelphia to have that,” he explained “You know, that’s unbelievably exciting.”