Mabel R. McClanahan Study Gallery Opens

Mabel R. McClanahan Study Gallery Opens

Posted on Jun 23, 2014, by

Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass is pleased to announce the opening of a new study gallery. A private opening ceremony for the Mabel R. McClanahan Memorial Study Gallery was held on Thursday, June 19th at 4:30pm on the second floor of the museum. There was a public reception for the gallery opening at 10am on Friday, June 20th.

The gallery is a gift to the museum by long-time friends, Gary and Marge McClanahan, in honor of Gary’s mother, Mabel, who passed away in 2012. She was a Wisconsin native who resided for much of her life in Appleton. Mabel moved to Appleton in 1946 to work as secretary-bookkeeper for Herbert Crane. After 40 years with Crane Engineering Sales, Inc., she retired as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Mabel was an active community and civic leader, championing small business development, women’s advocacy and education throughout the state and nation. Among the many organizations she served were Goodwill Industries of Northern Wisconsin (Director), Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Director), and the Appleton Area Board of Education (President).

After Mabel retired, she partnered with her son Gary in his business as a paperweight dealer. Mabel was active in the Paperweight Collector’s Association. It is because of Mabel’s interest in paperweights and her commitment to education that this study gallery was named in her honor. The room has been created to continue the pursuit of knowledge in glass and art, and to make the art of the paperweight more accessible to the public.

The Mabel R. McClanahan Memorial Study Gallery features an open-storage drawer system built into display bookcases. The drawer system will hold nearly 600 paperweights and enables the viewer a close look at the objects. The wall cases have nearly 50 lineal feet of bookshelves and 130 cubic feet of display space. The room is anchored by a colorful glass and mixed media wall mural entitled, Betty’s Big Night, by Ricky Bernstein, which inspired the color scheme of the room.

The 20-foot long conference table was designed to feature 14 lighted compartments, visible from the top of the table, that hold paperweights donated by Gary and Marge McClanahan. Above the table hang blown glass lamps, made by artists Wes and Wesley Hunting of Princeton, to complement the gallery.

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