Milwaukee, Wis. – August 18, 2011 – The Milwaukee Art Museum announced a $7.6 million gift from the estate of Milwaukee business owner and his wife, Leonard and Bebe LeVine. The donation, received after Mr. LeVine’s death in 2008, is more than double the previous largest bequest, and is designated to advance and improve the Museum’s art collection and presentation.
“It is an honor to be the sole beneficiary of the LeVine’s estate. The donation will be used to further the legacy of this remarkable couple, Leonard and Bebe LeVine, who willed these funds to the Museum,” said Daniel Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
LeVine was a graduate of Whitefish Bay High School and the University of Pennsylvania, lettering in track at both institutions. He served his country during World War II as a Major in the Army Air Corps. He was also president of Rosenberg’s Department Store, a women’s apparel store. His wife Bebe was a naval officer and Navy photographer during World War II. They were married in 1946 and collected art for their Fox Point home over the years.
“Mr. and Mrs. LeVine appreciated art, and wanted to keep the Milwaukee Art Museum a world-class museum,” said the estate’s executor and longtime family friend Tricia Knight. “Mr. LeVine was clear that this gift be used to keep the Museum a leading institution.”
According to Keegan, the restricted monies will be used for future acquisitions, and as part of the Museum’s long-term strategic plan, a gallery space will be named in the LeVine’s honor.
“Mr. LeVine and his wife spent so much time here at the Museum, we thought it appropriate that future generations of art lovers come to know of the deep generosity of the family,” said Keegan.
ABOUT THE MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM
The Milwaukee Art Museum’s far-reaching holdings include more than 25,000 works spanning antiquity to the present day. With a history dating back to 1888, the Museum houses a collection with strengths in 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, American decorative arts, and folk and self-taught art. The Museum includes the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion, named by Time magazine as “Best Design of 2001.” For more information, please visit www.mam.org.