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Art museum renovations announced

By : Sarah Lifshin

BU alumnus Stanley Reifer ’64 speaks with Prof Emeritus of History Sidney Harcave during a reception to unveil plans for new Art Museum entrance. Reifer and his wife, alumna Susan Reifer ’65, partially funded the entrance, to be named in honor of Harcave
Plans for the construction of a new University Art Museum entrance were unveiled during a reception last week, with University officials also announcing plans for the addition of an elevator to provide for better access between the museum’s three floors.

Funded in part by the generosity of alumni Susan ’65 and Stanley ’64 Reifer, the new entrance will be named in honor of Professor Emeritus of History Sidney Harcave and constructed in the southwest corner of the museum.

“We are deeply appreciative of Susan and Stanley’s generosity,” President Lois B. DeFleur said. “They have expressed their caring and appreciation in a way that makes a difference in the lives of the people in the community and the thousands that come and go from this University.”

The new entrance will allow for improvements to the building. “When the current building was designed, the entrance was essentially in the back,” said museum director Lynn Gamwell. “It is now like you are coming in the back door. When you give people directions, with its present entrance, the museum lacks presence and is hard to find.”

However, the renovations will solve those problems. “The museum will be easy to find,” Gamwell said. “We will face the University Union and the entrance will open into the exhibit area.”

In 2002, the Reifers also partially funded the mezzanine extension and gave several pieces of Asian art from their private collection, including furniture, bronze and ceramic vessels, several Japanese woodcut prints and a vase from between 4,000 B.C. and 8,000 BC.

“This is a project that we have dreamt about for years,” Gamwell said. “It was something that we wanted to improve for the convenience of our visitors and the security of our artwork. Now, the dream is becoming a reality.”

Also during the event, a new sculpture — “Forbidden Fruit” by American artist William King — donated by the Reifers, was unveiled.

“Art is a place to reflect,” said Stanley Reifer, adding that he believes the sculpture was probably the best thing he has donated because it’s whimsical — like his life while as a student at Harpur College.

He said he donated the sculpture in honor of Harcave because his teaching changed his perspective and helped him appreciate his education.

“This was a place where Stan and I planned our future,” Susan Reifer said. “It changed our lives. It made a huge difference. We love being able to give back.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08