Columbus State University's Bo Bartlett Center receives major gi - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus State University's Bo Bartlett Center receives major gift from foundation

Bo Bartlett Center. (Source: Columbus State University) Bo Bartlett Center. (Source: Columbus State University)
Bo Bartlett Center. (Source: Columbus State University) Bo Bartlett Center. (Source: Columbus State University)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Columbus State University’s Bo Bartlett Center has received a major gift from the family foundation of a late U.S. ambassador and media mogul.

The Walter Annenburg Foundation in Los Angles has gifted CSU’s Bartlett Center with $50,000.

“This gift expands our already strong local and regional support to the national level,” said David W. Houston, executive director and chief curator of the center, says in a CSU press release.

This gift is the first major gift outside of the state of Georgia.

The Annenburg-Bartlett connection dates back to the early 1990’s when Annenburg asked Bartlett to paint an official portrait.

Annenberg was the publishing powerhouse behind The Philadelphia Inquirer, creator of Seventeen magazine, and developer of national publication TV Guide.

Bartlett recalled his encounter with the ambassador in a June Q&A featured in The Huffington Post.

“…I was painting him in his office, a red phone behind his desk rang, and he informed me that he had to stop posing for a minute and take this call,” Bartlett said. “…He informed me that he was advising the President… he (Annenberg) quickly waved his hand back and forth saying ‘Republicans, Democrats, apples, oranges, that’s not where the power is!’ And I realized in that moment that there is a ‘They’ and that I was in the presence of one.”

Now, part of Annenberg’s art advocacy extends to Columbus. Next year, the university will open the Bo Bartlett Center, an 18,425-square-foot interactive gallery on the second floor of the Corn Center for the Visual Arts on CSU’s RiverPark campus.

The center will feature more than 300 paintings and drawings produced by Bartlett. It will also house his complete archive of journals, sketchbooks, photographs and other memorabilia.

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