Mystic Seaport formally dedicated the new Gallery Quadrangle for the late Donald C. McGraw, Jr., in a ceremony on May 20. McGraw was a longtime supporter of the Museum and a charter member and first chairman of its National Council of Advisors.
The dedication was attended by members of the McGraw family, the Board of Trustees, and other friends and supporters of the Museum.
“Don McGraw… believed that our maritime heritage should be saved and shared, not stuck away in curiosity cabinets available only to scholars, but exhibited and used to tell stories that inform and inspire,” Board Chairman Barclay Collins told the assembled crowd. “We are present at the dawn of a new age of exhibitions at Mystic Seaport in which the Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle will play a central connecting role.”
An avid collector, McGraw brought his passion for the artifacts of America’s maritime heritage to his leadership and support of the Museum, and his philanthropy significantly increased the endowment and the enhancement of the Museum’s priceless collection of J.E. Buttersworth paintings. The McGraw family’s commitment to Mystic Seaport continues with his son Robin’s service on the Board of Trustees.
The McGraw Quadrangle replaced what was Anchor Circle on the north end of the Museum’s grounds. It is comprised of the Stillman, Wendell, C.D. Mallory, P.R. Mallory, and R.J. Schaefer Buildings as well as the Greenmanville Church. The Thompson Exhibition Building, presently under construction, will complete the Quadrangle’s north border. In the center, is a grassy open common.
The common will be the site for this summer’s inaugural “Arts on the Quad” performance series, which begins July 2 with Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” by New London’s Flock Theatre.
The Thompson building is scheduled to open September 24, 2016.