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The Montclair Art Museum Presents "Hidden Treasures"

Fundraiser on May 12 to honor the Leir Charitable Foundations and celebrate the Museum’s exhibitions

April 6, 2012 - PRLog -- The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) will host its annual gala on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Please join MAM for a special celebration themed “Hidden Treasures.” The Museum is particularly excited this year to be honoring the Leir Charitable Foundations, acting in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir. In addition to this very special honor, the Museum will celebrate this year’s exhibition program, which has sought to present unseen or seldom-seen works from both the collection and the community. Finally, this evening marks an unprecedented involvement of gentlemen co-chairs in the gala committee. There will be cocktails and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m. and dinner, entertainment, and a live auction at 8 p.m. The event is black tie optional. Funds raised are used to support the Museum’s exhibitions and education programs.

The Leir Foundations have been a truly remarkable resource for the Museum from their inception. In 2002, the Foundations gifted Leir Hall, a spectacular three-story hall with dramatic skylight, to provide a space for community interaction. This hall had a transformative impact on the Museum, allowing it to host family programs, including monthly favorites like Park Bench and Home School Days as well as Free Family Days, and public programs, such as the recent screening of "ALL ME: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert" in February. The hall also houses overflow art classes and receptions from the Museum’s Yard School of Art and provides a gathering space for school tours, which serve both local schools and disadvantaged students and their teachers. Members of the community benefit not only from MAM’s own programs in Leir Hall, but also through facility rentals by external organizations and individuals, and events with community partners, including the MSU/MAM Art Talks with the Master of Fine Arts degree program at Montclair State University, the first annual Montclair Film Festival, and the Annual Conversation on Education and the Arts with Montclair Community Pre-K. In addition, MAM’s special fundraising events, including the recent Art on Tap and the Museum’s annual galas, would not be possible without this remarkable space.

The Leir Foundations were also the seminal funder for "Cezanne and American Modernism," on view at the Montclair Art Museum in the fall of 2009. Reaction to the exhibition was nothing short of extraordinary. Attendance records for special exhibitions reached an all-time high, drawing 51,047 visitors from 42 states in just 17 weeks. Membership, school tours, and public programs all reached remarkable levels during this exhibition. Without the fundamental support of the Leir Foundations, this historic exhibition would not have occurred.

The Foundations’ philanthropy is deeply rooted in caring for the underserved. Their contributions to the Museum, including Leir Hall and "Cezanne and American Modernism," have significantly increased access to the Museum’s resources both locally and nationally. The Foundations are a hidden treasure not only to the Montclair Art Museum, but to the entire worldwide community, which they serve through their continual and generous support of arts and healthcare.

The Foundations became involved with the Museum through Adrian Shelby, MAM’s current chair of external affairs, who is also serving as the gala’s honorary chairwoman. “Hidden Treasures” is subtitled “A Gentleman’s Gala” to acknowledge the unprecedented involvement of gentleman co-chairs, including Merrick Andlinger, John M. Dowd, Michael Heningburg, Jr., James E. Johnson, Andrew Lacey, Jim Leitner, and Terry Wall. Esther Harper, the Museum’s director of development, said: “We contacted seven men hoping that a few would participate. To our surprise and delight, all seven responded yes. The men in the museum community really stepped up this year.” Lora Urbanelli, director of MAM, added: “These men truly represent some of the hidden treasures of our board.”

The gala will also recognize the treasures within the Museum: great works of art. All three exhibitions on view during the gala–"Look Now: Modern and Contemporary Art from Private Collections," "New Media: New Forms," and "Patterns, Systems, Structures: Abstraction in American Art"–address the theme of discovering and displaying “hidden” art. "Look Now" is one of two exhibitions this year, along with "George Inness: Private Treasures," that brings together works from local private collections, many of which have never been exhibited in public. Michael Heningburg, Jr, gala co-chair, spoke about this exhibition: “Serving as co-chair of the gala is a chance to do something a little bit different and supports a very special exhibition. I would encourage everyone to see 'Look Now' as it features works from people’s private homes that you would not otherwise get a chance to see.” "New Media: New Forms," the New Jersey Fine Arts Annual which opens April 21, will display contemporary works and draw attention to New Jersey’s best and most talented artists. "Patterns, Systems, Structures" is one of a series of rotating exhibitions of MAM’s permanent collection that is thematically organized. Gail Stavitsky, chief curator and curator of the exhibition said: “This exhibition has provided a great opportunity to re-examine the permanent collection and show works that have seldom or never been exhibited before.”

For more information about the gala, visit http://www.montclairartmuseum.org/aib/ To reserve tickets, please contact Monica Lupiloff, special events manager, at 973-259-5143 or mlupiloff@montclairartmuseum.org.

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The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) presents exhibitions and programs that reflect its collection of historic and contemporary American and Native American art. MAM's Yard School of Art offers classes for people of all ages.

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Source:Montclair Art Museum
Location:Montclair - New Jersey - United States
Industry:Event, Non-profit
Tags:Fundraiser, Special Event, Nonprofit, Foundations
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