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MEDIA CONTACT: Carol Lewis
561-297-0245, clewis36@fau.edu

FAU Libraries Acquire Contemporary Fine Art and Crafts Collection

 Donors are Staunch Advocates for Art in University Libraries

BOCA RATON, FL (April 7, 2009) – Florida Atlantic University Libraries recently hosted an exhibition and reception to acknowledge a gift of an eclectic mix of contemporary fine art and crafts from Drs. J. Rosmarin Chordorkoff and B. Chodorkoff.

The Chodorkoffs, major art collectors and staunch advocates for art in university libraries, have donated 18 pieces of fiber art, studio glass, ceramics, paintings and sculptures to the Wimberly Library on FAU’s Boca Raton campus to establish the Drs. J. Rosmarin Chodorkoff and B. Chodorkoff Collection. The couple plans to transfer art from their private collection to FAU Libraries annually until their entire collection is gifted.

“To give art to an academic library means that it is going to be seen by students as well as the general public anytime they come to the library,” said B. Chodorkoff, a retired psychoanalyst/psychiatrist and university professor.

One of the highlights of the collection is John Woodward’s glazed and painted ceramic bust titled “Site.” Standing almost 30 inches high, this 1992 self-portrait by the artist includes a frame motif reminiscent of the time he spent as a construction worker framing houses. Plans are being made to prominently display this piece in the library’s lobby. Some of the other Chodorkoff art will be permanently displayed at the Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts in the library, while other pieces will become part of a rotating exhibition in the library’s lobby.

Dr. William Miller, dean of FAU Libraries, which hosted the reception, said the collection’s educational value to students and anyone interested in studying special collections is priceless.  “We are very honored to be the institution receiving this extraordinary collection. The Chodorkoffs have been generous donors to some very prestigious institutions,” said Miller.

Chodorkoff and his wife, J. Rosmarin Chodorkoff, a retired clinical psychologist, married in 1951 and distinguished themselves professionally as doctors and educators. Both have earned spots in Marquis Who’s Who. Among their passions were raising their children, Cathi and David, travelling and procuring fine art. In recent years, they have realized their art will need a good home after it leaves their care.

The Chodorkoff collection joins other exceptional FAU Libraries collections, including the Arthur & Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts, the Marvin and Sybil Weiner Collection of Colonial Imprints, the print music collection and the Judaica Sound Archives.

The couple decided to donate their art to FAU Libraries after frequent visits over the years to the Jaffe center where they spent time with benefactor Arthur Jaffe. The Jaffe center contains more than 10,000 items and artists books, most of them from Jaffe’s private collection that he and his late wife Mata donated to FAU.

             “They could see their collection being here at the library and enjoyed by the public just as the Jaffe collection,” said Jaffe, who first met them more than 20 years ago. “I see the Chodorkoff collection as a beautiful addition to the artistic endeavors of the university.”

President Frank T. Brogan ’81, Miller and Jaffe gave remarks during the celebratory reception. Among the guests who traveled from around the country to join the Chodorkoffs for the reception and exhibition were Frederick and Jean Birkhill of Michigan, Rona Shapiro of New York, and James and Alice Williams of Virginia.

Joel and Patricia Frost, Barry and Florence Friedberg, Miles and Mimi Coon, Dottie and Stanley Pierce, Bobbie Starsky, and members of FAU’s University Club, including Marlis Hadeed, Alene Brewer, Rana and John Vitha, and Barry and Becky Goldin, also attended the reception.

This collection is the second gift the Chodorkoffs have made to the university. They previously gave a 72-piece collection of porcelain china to the Baldwin House. President Brogan and his wife, Courtney Brogan, hosted a luncheon in the fall to honor the couple’s generosity.

  -FAU-

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serv es more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts nine colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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