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Gift of President Beach became art museum’s first major collection
Charles Lewis Beach (1866-1933), President of the University from 1908 to 1928, bought his first painting in 1924 as a gift for his ailing wife, Louise Crombie Beach. She passed later that same year, but Charles continued to buy paintings, established the Louise Crombie Beach Foundation, designated it to receive a portion of his estate and directed that the money be used to continue purchasing works of art. — Paraphrased from an article by Mark J. Roy in the November 3, 1997 issue of the “University Advance.”
Beach was an early Leader and Donor who contributed to the Origins of the School of Fine Arts. This and other events which took place before 1940 will be developed further in posts for events taking place in later decades, in this case, the decade of the 1940s.
Victor Borge endowed Fine Arts Scholarship
A series of annual performances by the internationally beloved pianist and comedian sold out audiences at the Jorgensen Auditorium. Thanks to Mr. Borge’s generosity, the concerts also endowed a scholarship fund which has benefitted Fine Arts students for generations.
J. Louis von der Mehden’s Legacy
February 16, 1960
President [Jorgensen] reported to the Board of Trustees “. . . that under the provisions of the will of the late Susan Evelyn von der Mehden, the University is to receive income from the estate which is estimated to be . . . approximately $500,000. Under the terms of the will, the University is expected, first, to publish any unpublished but completed compositions [by her husband] that are worthy of publication; and secondly, to provide a vault for the safekeeping of the late J. Louis von der Mehden’s published musical compositions . . . In discussing the vault, it was clear that she had in mind adequate protective shelving for the safekeeping of the music compositions, this protective shelving to be located in a room which could be designated as a memorial recital room where her late husband’s compositions could be played and enjoyed, without the exclusion of other recital uses of this room.” The president recommended building a recital room with the Fine Arts Center that was planned for construction. The Board of Trustees approved, 2/15/56.
— “Space Odyssey, 1961-1981,” p. .
von der Mehden Recital Hall completed
The von der Mehden Recital Hall at the time of its opening.
Kellogg Grant Received by SFA
W.K. Kellogg Foundation grants $60,000 to support a program of continuing education in fine arts for New England, and to ensure “Connecticut’s participation in the New England Center for Continuing Education, a consortium of the six state Universities.” — “Space Odyssey, 1961-1981,” p. .
Shubert Foundation Funds New Play Production Series
Dramatic Arts receives $10,000, the first of several awards from Shubert Foundation to mount the premiere of a new play. DDA presents “20 major productions; 50 student productions; and seven summer productions. These experiences encompass summer stocks, classics, conventional musicals, experimental theatre, staged readings, original drama, children’s theatre, puppet theatre, and foreign language theatre. Complimentary fields include dance, film, radio, and television.” — “Space Odyssey, 1961-1981,” p. .
“Connecticut is the Stage.” The School reaches out.
A Charles E. Merrill Trust grant obtained through the University of Connecticut Foundation launches ‘The Stage is Connecticut,’ sending drama and music performances and art exhibits to “various parts of Connecticut.” Susan Holmes is appointed to coordinate the program and supervise von der Mehden Recital Hall. — “Space Odyssey, 1961-1981,” p. .
Kellog Grant Funds Arts Education in Correctional Institutions
“Under the W.K. Kellog grant, renewed for three years, a program of Continuing Education in the Arts for Correctional Institutions is established. The program includes concerts and art exhibits in prisons. The emphasis, however, is on drama workshops for inmates in which they write poetry and video scripts, participate in improvisatory acting classes, and present some performances outside of the institution. The purpose of the program is to build communication skills.” — “Space Odyssey, 1961-1981,” p. .