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The Westmoreland’s departing Judith O’Toole chooses works to add to collection

Mary Pickels
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Shane Dunlap
In honor of her recent retirement, Judith O'Toole, Richard M. Scaife Director/CEO of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, has selected three works of art as a gift to the Greensburg facility, which she led for 25 years.

Judith O’Toole, who recently announced her retirement after leading The Westmoreland Museum of American Art for 25 years, has chosen three works of art to grace the walls of her former workplace.

According to a news release, The Westmoreland is acquiring the pieces selected by O’Toole using funds donated by the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation in honor of O’Toole’s lengthy tenure and retirement.

Foundation chairwoman Linda Boxx facilitated the gift.

Boxx was a museum board of trustees member from 1994-2001 and served as The Westmoreland Society president from 1999-2001.

“Paul Chew, as the first director of the museum, began to build the museum’s impressive collection from scratch. While the collection continued to grow under both directors, we wanted to honor Judy’s tenure as its leader with an opportunity to leave her distinctive mark on the collection,” Boxx says in the release.

O’Toole’s selections include works by Larry Poons, Mickalene Thomas and Michael West, to join the museum’s post-1950s collection.

“It is rare that a donor has such insight into a meaningful opportunity for a departing executive. This grant gave me the ability to leave an impression on the collection that was singularly my own. I used it to advance The Westmoreland’s holdings in post-1950s American art, a new area of collecting made possible for us by the gifts and promised gifts of Peter and Diana Jannetta, and to add diversity to that collection,” O’Toole says in the release.

Thomas’ “Shug Kisses Celie” and West’s “Red Squares” are currently on view. Poons’ “Stanley’s Traveler” will be on view in coming weeks.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or [email protected] or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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