Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
January 28, 2004
Gift boosts art fund
A University of Guelph graduate and former chief librarian has contributed an additional $100,000 to the art acquisition fund she established in 1979 to benefit the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.
Each year, interest from the fund started by Florence G. Partridge buys a major work for the art centre’s collection. This year, Partridge’s support purchased Weather Station, a sculpture by Scottish artist Diane Maclean that was unveiled Jan. 15. “Florence’s creativity and enthusiasm have expanded the cultural horizons in our community and ensured the development of the visual arts in Canada,” said Judith Nasby, director of the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. “This important gift reflects her lifelong interest in the arts, as well as her dedication and belief in building a strong and vibrant arts community.”
The Florence G. Partridge fund, which now totals $245,000, has supported 27 major works to date. They include prints and paintings by historical and contemporary artists and other works in the sculpture park: Turkey by Frances Loring, Ex Ovo Omni by FASTWÜRMS and Andrew Hunter’s “In the Pines.”
Partridge is one of the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre’s longest-standing volunteers. She has been involved with the centre since its beginnings in 1975 and served as the first docent for the school tour program. “It’s people like Florence and others who helped greatly to make the art centre the success it is today,” Nasby said.
Partridge, a 1926 graduate of Macdonald Institute, believes an art collection “is an important part of an institution.” She first put that theory into action as the librarian at the OAC library in Massey Hall, buying paintings by Canadian artists with whatever funds were left in her furniture budget at year’s end. Nasby said that ingenuity launched U of G’s art collection, which is now housed at the art centre.
Partridge, who also holds a degree in library science from the University of Toronto, went on to become U of G’s chief librarian, a position she held until her retirement in 1971. In 1993, the Canadian government selected her for the prestigious Lescarbot Award for outstanding service as a cultural volunteer.
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