Ofelia Garcia: “What a joy to know that works I have loved for years will be cared for, exhibited, studied, and enjoyed by many others.”
Ofelia GarciaRetired art professor and former college president Ofelia Garcia has a passion for prints. She attributes her love for collecting to Philadelphia’s visual arts institutions, especially the Museum. Since 2013, she has donated to the Museum nearly 70 works on paper, primarily by women artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, and Sandy Skoglund. In addition, she has given works by artists not previously represented in the collection like Mary Nimmo Moran and Dorothy Dehner. In 2017, she established a bequest to support acquisition endowments for both the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs department and the Library, on whose committee she serves. Ofelia also supports the Museum as a member of the Associates. “What a joy,” she says, “to know that works I have loved for years will be cared for, exhibited, studied, and enjoyed by many others. While the Museum’s collection was initially formed, and continues to grow, through gifts of magnificent private collections, it is also enriched by individual gifts by members and supporters. I am immensely pleased to be one of those supporters.”
Larry and Julie Berger. “Our commitment to the Museum is a reflection of how the Museum has enriched our lives.”
Julie and Larry BergerJulie and Larry Berger met after college, went on dates at the Museum, and attended Saturday morning lectures together. Their mutual passion for the Museum continues to flourish. Julie has been an esteemed Guide for 20 years and is a member of the Women’s and Craft Show Committees. Larry served as outside counsel to the Museum and as a member of the Corporate Executive Board before joining the staff in 2006 as General Counsel, a position he held until he retired in 2016. The Bergers have provided generous philanthropic support since 1975—giving to many areas of the Museum, including annual operations, acquisitions, and capital projects. In 2015 Julie and Larry made a pledge, including annual support and an irrevocable bequest, to support the Museum’s capital projects. These visionary gifts exemplify their commitment to both the day-to-day activities of the Museum and the historic building in which it all takes place. “Philadelphia is blessed with many fine cultural institutions,” Larry says, “and the Museum is at the pinnacle. We believe in supporting it to ensure that future generations may discover the same joy and inspiration we’ve experienced.”
Douglas “D. W.” Mellor: “I give to the Museum in hopes of inspiring others to look closely and find their own passion.”
Douglas “D. W.” MellorPhiladelphia native Douglas “D. W.” Mellor found his passion for photography in 1968 when he first visited the Museum as a college student. He was mesmerized by an Ansel Adams photograph, a print of which he later purchased. After graduating, he acquired more photographs, though he has never seen himself as a collector. Over the years, he has been a photographer, the director of the Photography Gallery in Philadelphia and La Jolla, and a photography professor at the University of the Arts. Mellor’s love for photography has also inspired him to contribute funds to support the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs department. He became a Museum member in 1994, and has gifted more than 100 works on paper by artists like Harry Callahan, William Christenberry, Emmet Gowin, and himself—including a portfolio of photographs and a letter by his muse, Tom Garvey. “If it weren’t for the Museum,” Mellor says, “I wouldn’t have discovered my passion for photography. This institution changed my life.”
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