Museum of Fine Arts marks 75th anniversary

September 24, 2006

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts began celebrating its 75th anniversary this month and will have special exhibits throughout the coming year to mark the occasion.

Founded by Hagerstown native Anna Brugh Singer and her husband, artist William Henry Singer Jr., the museum in Hagerstown's City Park was incorporated in 1929, and opened Sept. 16, 1931.

More than 71,000 visitors a year view exhibitions or attend concerts, lectures or children's art events and classes.

Anna Brugh Singer expanded the museum in 1949, adding two wings in memory of her late husband. A 1994 addition nearly doubled the museum's size.

The museum's primary focus is on 19th-century and early 20th-century American art, but showcases items from a collection of more than 7,000 works that include old masters, as well as contemporary works.


There are approximately 10 exhibits each year focusing on works from the museum's permanent collection, traveling shows, and regional and national artists.

At the museum

· "Our Fondest Dreams and Hopes": Celebrating 75 Years of Growth, through Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007. A collection of photographs, documents, catalogs and brochures from museum archives and paintings from the permanent collection that highlight historic moments in the museum's history.

· The Sixties, Seventies and Eighties: From the Permanent Collection, Dec. 17 to Feb. 4, 2007. Paintings, prints and sculptures from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

· Cumberland Valley Photo Salon, Feb. 9, 2007, to April 22, 2007. This juried competition highlights the best photographers, amateur and professional, in the Cumberland Valley region.

· Public School Art Exhibition, April 28, 2007, to May 27, 2007.

Lectures and concerts:

· Pianist Dan Franklin Smith, Sept. 24. 2:30 p.m. Reception follows.

· Washington County Museum Consort, Oct. 8, 2:30 p.m.

· Poetry reading by Hope Snyder, Oct. 15, 2:30 p.m. Reception follows.

· Maryland Symphony Orchestra Recital Series: Duo Dolce with flutist Kimberly Valerio and Michelle Myers Lundy playing the harp, Oct. 22, 2:30 p.m. Reception follows.

· Bowman Memorial Recital with pianist Sylvia Henry: The works of Norwegian Composer Edvard Grieg, Nov. 19, 2:30 p.m. Reception follows.

· Handbell Choirs: Little Heiskel Ringers and Haven Handbells, Dec. 10, 2:30 p.m.


· The museum's Saturday Morning Youth Program began Sept. 9 and runs through June 9, 2007, most Saturdays. It is free and open to those ages 6 to 12. Preregistration is required.

· Nov. 11, the Singer Society, the museum's volunteer organization, will host the annual Treasure Sale. A preview party will be Nov. 10. Donated collectible items are welcome for this fundraiser.

· The Museum Shop will host a pre-holiday sale on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

· The Children's Holiday Reception will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16. Features Michael Shwedick from Reptile World, and Santa Claus. Tickets, $3 a person.

The museum's hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For information, call 301-739-5727 or go to

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