The crowning moment of the January 20, 2012 opening reception for Style & Grace: Masterworks of American Art From the Collection of Michael A. and Marilyn L. Mennello was the unveiling of a lifesize bronze of my late wife, Marilyn Logsdon Mennello. The statue was created by Orlando-based sculptor Loura Dobbs, whose work I admired at the Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine, and it will remain on permanent display in the museum's center gallery.
More than 550 people attended the reception for the exhibition of American Impressionist paintings and sculptures collected by Marilyn and me, over our 30 years of marriage. The personal works of art were literally taken off the walls and out of the corners of my home for the exhibition. It was a pleasure to share our collection with the public.
Distinguished guests at the opening included Mayor Buddy Dyer; Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs; Dr. Elizabeth Broun, Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and Dr. Virginia M. Mecklenburg, Senior Curator at the Smithsonian; as well as the many friends and supporters of the Mennello Museum.
I would like to take this opportunity to again say "Thank You" to the Friends of the Mennello Museum of American Art and to others for your many contributions that made this purchase possible.
Please come by the museum and take a moment to view the monumental bronze statue and think of Marilyn's spirit and generosity of time and energy that have helped to make the Mennello Museum of American such a wonderful place to visit.
Also, please click here to read "A love-filled tribute to Marilyn Mennello," the article by Matt Palm of the Orlando Sentinel, April 4, 2012, which captures my enduring feelings about the new addition to the museum.
Michael A. Mennello