National Liberty Museum Honors Collectors

Honorees Bob and Shelby Ford are joined by Gwen Borowsky and Arlene Silver at the National Liberty Museum awards reception and dinner., where the Fords were honored for their devotion to glass sculpture and their support of the museum and its mission. Photo: Bonnie Squires

— by Bonnie Squires

What do you do when your world-class glass scupture collection outgrows your residence?  If your name is Irv Borowsky, you buy an historic former bank building in Philadelphia and transform it into the National Liberty Museum.  You commission Dale Chihuly to create a four-story glass chandelier which indicates the flame of revolution and the fragility of freedom.  And then you hold an annual Glass Art Weekend & Auction Gala, and you honor supporters of the museum who are themselves connoisseurs of glass sculpture.  This year’s awards reception and dinner honored Shelby and Bob Ford and Inna and Alex Friedman.  Artist Therman Statom, who does unique things with glass, was also honored.

More after the jump.

Irv Borowsky, founder of the National Liberty Museum, and his wife Laurie Wagman greeted guests at the awards reception at the museum. Photo: Bonnie Squires

Patrons of the National Liberty Museum, including Herb and Phyllis Victor, and  Rhea and Dr. Morton Mandell, came to pay tribute to their friends who were the evening’s honorees. Photo: Bonnie Squires

The Museum houses one of the world’s most important collections of contemporary glass art to make the point that freedom is beautiful and strong, like glass, but also extremely fragile.  Through this unique metaphor, students learn that it is their responsibility to protect our nation’s heritage of freedom by making good and productive choices in their everyday lives.

Over 400,000 young people from the Philadelphia region and beyond have visited the Museum since it opened its doors in the year 2000.  Building on that success, the Museum created character education outreach initiatives that bring its message directly to area middle schools.  One such program, the highly successful “Young Heroes Outreach Program,” is funded by the proceeds of the National Liberty Museum‘s Glass Art Weekend & Auction Gala.  The money raised provides staffing, computers, lesson plans and classroom materials.  It also goes to forming a “Young Heroes Club” at each school, which empowers the students to identify and solve real-life problems they face in their school and community.

The National Liberty Museum is grateful to the many collectors and artists who recognize their connection to the Museum’s mission by generously donating and purchasing work at the auction.  The glass art community has been a major supporter of the Museum from the very beginning and will certainly continue to be a factor in the Museum’s success in the years to come.

The National Liberty Museum is located in historic Philadelphia at 321 Chestnut St.  It is open 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday and 12-6 pm on Sunday.  Hours extend to 7 days a week during the summer months.  The facility is fully wheelchair accessible.  

National Liberty Museum Hosts Heroes of Liberty Founders Dinner

— by Bonnie Squires

Attendees of the National Liberty Museum’s Heroes of Liberty Founders Dinner gathered at Philadelphia’s Westin Hotel on Wednesday, May 25. They convened to celebrate the efforts and contributions of both the museum’s founders and of other backers.

Standing are Harold and Adele Schaeffer; this couple was among two other couples honored at the dinner.  Mrs. Schaeffer served as the museum’s president for five years.  Seated are supporters of the museum, founded by Irv Borowski in 2000: (left to right) Judge James Fitzgerald and his wife Carol Fitzgerald, and Roberta Tanenbaum.

More after the jump.

Pictured, left to right, are Laurie Wagman, wife of Irv Borowsky, founder of the National Liberty Museum, Irv Borowsky, Elaine Levitt, and Bunny Stein.

Gwen Borowsky, daughter of founder Irv Borowsky and CEO of the National Liberty Museum, thanks NBC 10’s meteorologist Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz for his service as master of ceremonies at the Heroes of Liberty Founders Dinner.

Among the guests were Judge Midge Rendell and Judy Lieb.

The Salvation Army’s Major Jorge Diaz had the honor of presenting the Heroes of Liberty award to one of the three couples being honored: Joyce and Bob Byers.  Here, Bob Byers accepts the award and praises Irv Borowsky for having founded the National Liberty Museum.

Enjoying the celebration are (left to right) Bob Rovner, Esq., his wife Sherrie Savett, Esq., who is vice chair of the National Liberty Museum, Elaine Levitt, and Melissa Ross.

Award-winners Jack and Vickie Farber were praised  for their long-time support of the museum by Dr. Paul Brucker, president emeritus of Thomas Jefferson University.

Jimmy Schaeffer, a son of one of the honoree couples, Adele and Harold Schaeffer, with Nicole Dresnin.

Supporters of the National Liberty Museum included Caryl and Hillel Levinson.

Pictured, left to right, are Norman Cohn, a co-chair of the awards dinner, Sandy and Stephen Sheller, Esq., Reverend Bonnie Camarda of the Salvation Army, and Lt. Colonel Donald Lance and Lt. Colonel Renee Lance.