PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 30, 2019) – The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce that Philadelphia philanthropist and longtime PAFA supporter Marguerite Lenfest will be the honoree at the 118th Annual Student Exhibition (ASE) Preview Party.
The Preview Party, to be held on Thursday, May 9, 2019 in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, kicks off the historic exhibition, which began around 1901, and offers guests the first chance to view and purchase nearly 1,000 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and installations created by PAFA's BFA students, third-and fourth-year Certificate program students, and MFA candidates, all on the verge of their professional careers.
The evening includes students discussing their work with guests, some exhibiting for the first time. Students retain the majority of the purchase price of works sold, while the rest of the proceeds support PAFA student scholarships. More than 80% of current students receive financial assistance and many would not be able to attend PAFA without scholarship support.
The gala evening is the major annual fundraiser of the Women's Board, which is committed to supporting PAFA in accordance with its mission statement through volunteerism and fundraising.
Marguerite and her late husband, H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, have been long-standing leaders within the PAFA community. Marguerite's grandfather, James Randolph Fisher, was a PAFA alumnus and Marguerite has served as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2002. In that time, she has served on the Museum Committee, the Gala Honorary Committee, and now serves on the Development Committee.
The Lenfests have given over $6 million to PAFA since 2000. Their largest gifts were $2 million to name the Fisher Brooks Gallery in the Hamilton Building and $2 million to name Lenfest Plaza, which opened in 2011. The Lenfests also generously supported the Lenfest "Love the Arts" campaign, a campaign touting Philadelphia's art offerings, which gives free billboard and TV advertising to arts groups, including PAFA.
Today, Marguerite serves as honorary chair of the PAFA First Campaign to expand and modernize our campus, facilities, and programs. The Lenfests have generously given $2 million to the campaign to support the next generation of artists.
Last year's ASE Preview Party raised over $340,000 to benefit PAFA students.
For more information on this year's Preview Party and to purchase tickets, visit here.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the talent and creativity of students at the PAFA preview show," Marguerite said. "Come and meet the future artists."
Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks,Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.