Beaux Arts Gives $1.7 Million to Lowe Art Museum

Gift will boost museum's exhibitions and educational programs.

Coral Gables (January 09, 2012) — The University of Miami is the recipient of Beaux Arts’ generous commitment of $1.7 million to support the Lowe Art Museum. This commitment upholds the Lowe as a leading center for the arts in the South Florida community by providing valuable funding for its exhibitions and educational programs, while serving to enhance Beaux Arts’ exceptional legacy of giving.

“From their inception in 1952, Beaux Arts and the Lowe Art Museum have shared a mutual appreciation and respect for the arts. This gift will considerably enhance the future of the Lowe, enabling it to continue to be a significant force in the South Florida arts community for generations to come,” said Lowe director and chief curator Brian Dursum.

Beaux Arts was founded in 1952 by 50 founding members under the direction of Ann Atkinson, then assistant director of the newly built Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery. The purpose of the group was to promote and create an interest in art and art appreciation throughout the community, as well as to provide improvements, equipment, and financial assistance to the Lowe Gallery (renamed Lowe Art Museum in 1968).

“The Lowe’s multicultural collections mirror the diverse population of residents living in Miami-Dade County. This makes the museum a unique resource for not only the University of Miami, but for the entire community as well,” says Jennifer M. Pfleger, Beaux Arts president. “This gift to the museum continues 60 years of Beaux Arts support for the Lowe. Our organization would like to ensure that future generations continue to appreciate and receive exposure to the arts.”

During the past 53 years, Beaux Arts has contributed over $5,300,000 to the Lowe Art Museum and has been honored for this accomplishment by induction into the University of Miami’s Gables donor category. In recognition of Beaux Arts’ pledge to the Lowe 2000 Capital Campaign, the Beaux Arts Gallery was dedicated with the opening of the newly renovated Lowe Art Museum in December of 1996. Between the years of 1997 and 2000, Beaux Arts and the Lowe Art Museum participated in a Matching Gift for Endowment and each raised funds for the new Beaux Arts Gallery. In the spring of 2005, Beaux Arts made a pledge toward the construction of the Beaux Arts Gallery in the Palley Pavilion at the Lowe. In addition to funding educational programs, Beaux Arts contributions have been used for exhibitions, improvements, and acquisitions to the museum’s collection.

Support from Beaux Arts will benefit, among other areas, the Lowe’s exhibitions. Exhibitions are either drawn from the permanent collection, borrowed from other art institutions, or leased from traveling exhibition organizations. Permanent collection exhibitions are developed, and borrowed exhibitions are selected, for their ability to educate and enrich the Lowe’s culturally, educationally, and socio-economically diverse audiences. The Lowe’s annual exhibition schedule is intentionally varied and includes ten collection galleries with permanent displays and three temporary exhibition galleries. The Lowe’s high-quality and varied collections uniquely position it to curate and organize major exhibitions from its holdings, which address areas of artistic endeavor not possible for other arts institutions in the region.

In addition to contributing to its exhibitions, support from Beaux Arts will also benefit the museum’s educational programs. The goal of these initiatives is to provide enriching art experiences to as many people in our community as possible. They include public gallery tours, Docent Guild membership and training, teacher workshops, family programs, lectures, and collaborative programs with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, as well as Beaux Arts’ own Hands-On! programs, which provide transportation, tours, and activities for elementary-age disadvantaged and disabled children.

From its origins in three classrooms in 1950, the history of the Lowe Art Museum reflects an unswerving commitment to its mission to serve the University of Miami as a teaching resource and to the residents of and visitors to Greater Miami as its major general art museum. Five thousand years of artistic achievement are represented in its collection.

For over half a century, the Lowe Art Museum has maintained its steadfast commitment to serve as an educational resource to the University of Miami community and its neighbors, as well as to be a proponent of knowledge and appreciation of art both regionally and nationally. This kind of unyielding dedication to the exhibition of art would not be possible without the sustained support of those who share in its vision. As an original founder of the Lowe, Beaux Arts has been strongly committed to the Museum, enabling it to distinguish itself among other art institutions and contributing to its increasing reputation.

The Lowe’s success is confirmed by an extraordinary and ongoing outpouring of support for the museum and its collections. With the gift in 1950 by philanthropists Joe and Emily Lowe, a freestanding museum facility opened to the public in 1952, the first collecting art museum in South Florida. Its 17,500–object collection is one of the most important in the Southeast, with strengths in Renaissance and Baroque, American, Ancient and Native American, and Asian art.

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