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Two Major Gifts Boost Art Museum

Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

BANGOR — In announcing “two incredible gifts” to the University of Maine Museum of Art in downtown Bangor, University of Maine President Robert Kennedy told those attending a Thursday night reception that the generosity of Machias Savings Bank and UMaine Prof. Jon Ippolito will transform the museum and dramatically increase its community impact.

The announcements begin the museum’s five-year anniversary celebration at its current location in Norumbega Hall on Harlow Street.

Kennedy announced a gift from Machias Savings Bank that will allow UMaine to offer free admission to the museum from now through the end of 2008. Until this point, UMaine has charged an entrance fee to offset some of the costs of operating the museum.

Kennedy says that the increased access will enhance the museum’s role in the community.

“That access — for people young and old — will allow more people to enjoy the beautiful collection and the exhibits that pass through,” Kennedy said. “Our community will be enriched by this gift.”

Machias Savings Bank, led by President and CEO Edward Hennessey, made the gift in memory of Bangor attorney Edward “Ted” Leonard, a museum benefactor and local arts advocate who died in October.

“Machias Savings Bank….has made a gift that will promote the kind of access to the arts that Ted stood for,” Kennedy said. Ted Leonard’s wife, Sandra, was in attendance at the Thursday event. She is chair of the museum’s advisory council and an influential member of the local arts community. Sandra Leonard and Edward Hennessey are members of the University of Maine Board of Visitors.

Kennedy also announced Prof. Ippolito’s donations of eight original paintings created by his father, abstract impressionist Angelo Ippolito. The estimated value of this gift is over $350,000.

Calling Angelo Ippolito “a very influential member of the New York School of Abstract Impressionism,” Kennedy described the late artist’s career, which included exhibitions of his work at some of the leading art museums and galleries, along with faculty appointments at several universities, including the International School of Art, Michigan State University and Binghamton University.

“An accomplished artist of the first order, Prof. Ippolito also made his mark as a teacher and a mentor,” Kennedy said.

Jon Ippolito, who is a faculty member in UMaine’s Dept. of New Media, was present to accept thanks for his donation.

“We are most proud and pleased that Jon and his family have seen fit to make this wonderful donation, and we look forward to the day when we can share this gift with the patrons of this museum, those in our community who will truly enjoy and appreciate the connection to Angelo Ippolito’s contributions to the arts, and who will fondly appreciate Jon’s generosity,” Kennedy said.

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