On June 19, 1997, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will dedicate the Stephanie and Meyer Eglin Gallery. The event will acknowledge the ongoing and generous support of Mrs. Eglin, an honorary member of the Museum's board of trustees and one of its most devoted friends. The newly named Eglin Gallery (#165) will feature changing installations drawn from the Museum's rich collections of 19th and 20th century works on paper. The inaugural installation will be Paul Klee: The Bauhaus Years (1921-1931), an exhibition featuring prints, gouaches, watercolors and paintings by the modernist master Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879-1940), on view in the Eglin Gallery from June 19 through mid September.
A Philadelphia native, Mrs. Eglin has been a supporter of the Museum since 1977. She has made significant contributions to the Museum's unrestricted fund for general operations, and in 1997 her leadership gift was instrumental in the creation of the Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment Fund for Exhibitions. Anne d'Harnoncourt, the Museum's Director and CEO, notes "Mrs. Eglin's efforts represent the most genuine form of philanthropy: she loves Philadelphia, she loves and understands the needs of its institutions, and she does everything in her power to help this community. She has been of vital importance to the Museum, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to celebrate her generosity which makes such an enormous difference in the Museum's ability to serve its growing public."
The late Meyer Eglin was a visionary businessman who, starting with a single garage in South Philadelphia, went on to establish Eglin Garages, a network of real estate and parking enterprises in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Miami, New Orleans, Kansas City and Denver. Following Mr. Eglin's death, Mrs. Eglin successfully oversaw these commercial endeavors, while also devoting considerable energy and resources to charitable activities.
In 1993, Mrs. Eglin was named Individual Philanthropist of the Year by the National Society of Fundraising Executives, and received the Humanitarian Award from the American Cancer Society. She provided for the Eglin Laser Room, Meyer Eglin Infectious Disease Fellowship, the Neurology Library Conference Room and the H. Robert Cathcart Endowment Fund for Nursing Excellence, all at Pennsylvania Hospital; and her generosity has encompassed the Moss Rehabilitation Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, The Wistar Institute, the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the Mann Music Center (where she founded the Meyer Eglin Memorial Concert), and the Philadelphia Orchestra (where she endowed the Meyer Eglin Flute Chair).
The Museum's Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, which oversees the Eglin Gallery installations, houses one of the largest and finest collections of works on paper to be found in any American museum. Headed by Senior Curator Innis Howe Shoemaker, the Department maintains a lively program of rotating works of art in the galleries, organizes exhibitions, and receives visiting scholars, individual students and classes by appointment in its study room.