Thursday, May 20, 2010

Toledo Museum of Art Gets $2 Million Gift

The Toledo Museum of Art’s Interim Director Rod Bigelow announced today (May
20) that the Museum has received a $2 million lead gift to renovate its former glass gallery into a
signature gallery for the Museum’s growing modern and contemporary collections.
Perrysburg residents and long-time Museum supporters Frederic “Fritz” and Mary Wolfe made
the gift earlier this year to jumpstart construction on the gallery.

“The plan is to renovate the space into a modern and contemporary gallery that will showcase the Museum’s growing holdings in those areas and re-introduce the Toledo Museum of Art to the world as an institution with an important and compelling collection of contemporary works,” Bigelow said. The space underwent demolition in 2008. But fundraising plans were put on hold, Bigelow noted, when the economic downturn became front-page news.

“Fritz and Mary have stepped forward to say that they not only believe in the future of the
Toledo Museum of Art, they believe in the future of this region,” said Betsy Brady, Toledo Museum of Art Board chair. “We certainly hope others will follow their lead and continue to contribute toward a healthy future for the Museum.” To recognize their leadership and long-time service to the Toledo Museum of Art, the new gallery will be known as the Frederic and Mary Wolfe Gallery.

“We have always enjoyed and admired the Museum,” said Mary Wolfe. “We feel fortunate that
we are able to help with the development of this new gallery space.”

The East Wing currently houses the Museum’s Classic Court and Peristyle Theater, which will
not change, along with several small contemporary galleries and an African gallery. When construction is complete, the relocation of the modern and contemporary collections will free up space to move and expand the Asian collection from its current home in the West Wing. Objects
will be able to be grouped by region or country of origin in adjoining rooms, which should aid in
interpretation. In addition, the African collection will receive a new home with expanded space.

“This project will involve closing several galleries in the East Wing for a period of months,”
noted Bigelow. “A specific timeline has not been established, but the community will receive ample notice of any closings so everyone can visit their favorite works of art before they come off public view.”

Mary and Fritz Wolfe have been long-time friends and supporters of the Museum. Fritz Wolfe
served on the Museum board for 27 years, providing significant leadership to the investment review committee, among many other assignments. He retired from active board service at the end of 2009 and continues his involvement with the Museum as an honorary board member.
Mary has been equally involved, co-chairing the organization’s 100th anniversary celebration in
2001 and currently serving on the search committee for a new director. They know firsthand the important role the Toledo Museum of Art plays in the community.

“Nearly 80 percent of the Museum’s annual budget comes from donated dollars,” Bigelow said.
“It is truly a testament to our members and donors like Mary and Fritz Wolfe that the Toledo Museum of Art is so world-renowned for the expansiveness and quality of its collection.”