The parents of Anne Bryan, a first-year student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts who was one of six people killed in the Salvation Army thrift store building collapse in 2013, have donated $1 million to the school, which will name a new Hamilton Building exhibition space the Anne Bryan Gallery, PAFA officials announced.
In 2015, Nancy Winkler and Jay Bryan also endowed the Anne Bryan Memorial Award to support graduating PAFA students in their new artistic careers.
“Anne loved her time as a student at PAFA where she was supported and encouraged by her wonderful teachers and was inspired by the art making in the school and the masterpieces in the museum,” Winkler, a former city treasurer, said in a statement. “Most of all, she loved the PAFA community and so we hope to help in a small way to enhance the student experience in Anne’s memory.”
The new Anne Bryan Gallery, which will open in early 2019 on the lower level of PAFA’s Hamilton Building at Broad and Cherry Streets, will feature 10 to 12 exhibitions annually. The gallery will focus on the work of PAFA students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, through new coursework and programming offered in conjunction with the gallery, PAFA students will acquire creative and professional opportunities to curate, exhibit, and learn about all aspects of mounting and promoting exhibitions.
“Anne was a special student who added to the strength of the PAFA community, challenging her faculty and uplifting her fellow students to be their best,” said PAFA president and chief executive David Brigham. He lauded the gift for its goal of creating opportunities “for students at PAFA to exhibit their work and to think about how best to organize art exhibitions.”
Said Brigham: "This is both an important legacy for Anne and a way for her presence to have a long-term impact at PAFA.”
The new gallery will be located adjacent to the new John and Richanda Rhoden Arts Center Auditorium. In 2017, PAFA acquired the estate of the artist John Rhoden (1918-2001), which included over 320 works by the under-recognized African American sculptor. The center is a 15,000-square-foot multidisciplinary facility that includes a 265-seat auditorium and collection storage vaults.
The construction of the new facilities is supported by a $25 million capital fund drive. So far, over $22.2 million has been raised.