Extraordinary Gift by Jacqueline Koldin Levine ’46 and Howard Levine Reinvigorates Bryn Mawr’s Art Collection

Posted September 6th, 2012 at 5:10 pm.

This summer, Jacqueline Koldin Levine ’46 and her husband, Howard Levine, have reinvigorated Bryn Mawr’s extensive collection of works on paper thanks to an extraordinarily generous gift of nearly 500 pieces.

“Over the course of 20 years, Jacqueline and Howard have assembled an unparalleled collection of works by 19th and 20th century artists,” says Brian Wallace, curator and academic liaison for art and artifacts at Bryn Mawr. “Each print or drawing, whether by an acknowledged master or a less-well-known practitioner, exemplifies the tensions between tradition and innovation that enliven many of the most compelling artworks, just as the collection overall, with its focus on works from the last hundred years or so, enlivens the College’s existing collection of thousands of prints and drawings.”

Howard Levine & Brian Wallace, curator and academic liaison for art and artifacts, in the Levines’ home gallery before the collection’s move

Howard Levine & Brian Wallace, curator and academic liaison for art and artifacts, in the Levines’ home gallery before the collection’s move

The exhibition Conversations: Selected Works from the Jacqueline Koldin Levine ’46 and Howard Levine Collection celebrates this important gift and indicates the extent to which that gift provides new opportunities and new challenges for students, faculty, and visitors.

The exhibition officially opens with a public lecture and reception on Thursday, Sept. 13. The lecture takes place at 4:30 p.m. in Carpenter Library room B21. Titled “Contemporary Artists and Traditional Printmaking Techniques,” the lecture will be given by Rena Hoisington, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs, Baltimore Museum of Art.

The reception takes place at 5:30 p.m. in Canaday’s Rare Book Room. The Levines will attend the event, as will exhibition curators Maeve Doyle, Ph.D. candidate, history of art, Hyoungee Kong ’14, and Wallace.  The exhibit will be on display in the Rare Book Room of Canaday Library on the Bryn Mawr campus from September 10 – October 14.

“Jacqueline and Howard’s wonderful gift will provide our history of art faculty with an extraordinary teaching tool.  Generations of Bryn Mawr students will have the opportunity to engage with these works of art, allowing them to do the sort of original research that is at the center of a Bryn Mawr education. On behalf of the College I want to thank them for their tremendous generosity,” says Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe.

“This gift is a wonderful example of the many ways alumnae support the College,” adds Chief Development Officer Donna Frithsen.  “By bringing the art collection they love to the College they love, Jacqueline and Howard have assured that the works will be used to enrich the education of countless students and researchers.”

The conversational format of the exhibition – the emphasis on connections between works, ideas, and people – was chosen in homage to Jackie and Howard Levine. The Levines, as the intertwined diversity and consistency of their collection makes clear, developed that collection as part of an ongoing conversation – a conversation that will continue in this exhibition as well as in future research, discovery, and enjoyment.

“From the artistic avant-garde of Pablo Picasso or George Grosz to the social commentary of Käthe Kollwitz or the Social Realist artists of the 1920s and ’30s, the images are startling, challenging, touching, and beautiful,” wrote history of art Ph.D. candidate Maeve Doyle in a blog post chronicling the arrival of the stunning collection.

For more on the efforts involved in cataloging the collection, read this blog post by Doyle about the arrival of the collection in June.

The below images are among the works that will be on display:


Robert Henri: Couple in Profile, crayon


Roselle Hellenberg Osk: The Sisters, drypoint

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