Major Gift Expands Mennello Museum of American Art

"Coopers Lake, Woodstock," an oil on panel, was painted by George Wesley Bellows in 1924.  The work was one of a collection valued at more than $8.75 million, donated in 2018 by Michael A.  Mennello to the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando.  (Credit: Collection of the Mennello Museum of American Art, 2018.  Gift of Michael A.  Mennello)
"Coopers Lake, Woodstock," an oil on panel, was painted by George Wesley Bellows in 1924. The work was one of a collection valued at more than $8.75 million, donated in 2018 by Michael A. Mennello to the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando. (Credit: Collection of the Mennello Museum of American Art, 2018. Gift of Michael A. Mennello)
  • Detail: George Luks' "The Red Dress," an oil on canvas, circa 1918-20, is one of the works donated by Michael A.  Mennello to the Mennello Museum of Art.  (Collection of the Mennello Museum of American Art, 2018.  Gift of Michael A.  Mennello.)

    Detail: George Luks' "The Red Dress," an oil on canvas, circa 1918-20, is one of the works donated by Michael A. Mennello to the Mennello Museum of Art. (Collection of the Mennello Museum of American Art, 2018. Gift of Michael A. Mennello.)

A new donation of artwork — the biggest in the history of the Mennello Museum of American Art — will help spur growth in Orlando's downtown, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The over $8.75 million donation in art from museum co-founder Michael A. Mennello was announced Saturday. Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer also says the city-owned museum will be expanded with a new building, with the current 12,000-sq. foot space showcasing Florida folk artist Earl Cunningham, complete with a resource room and other educational facilities.

“The Mennello Museum is now poised to begin an exciting, new trajectory where big, innovative ideas are embraced and a visionary expansion will yield boundless potential for its future,” Dyer said in a statement. “The opportunity before us cannot be squandered; it is imperative we focus on growth and keeping this jewel relevant for generations to come.”

The gift includes five sculptures and 14 paintings, including works by Deborah Butterfield, George Wesley Bellows and George Luks, plus 20 works from Mennello’s American Impressionist collection to be on permanent loan

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