Art Museum post endowed Aramark chairman and wife give $1 million for conservator.

Posted: July 12, 2003

The chairman and chief executive of Aramark Corp., Joseph Neubauer, and his wife, Jeanette, have pledged $1 million to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to endow the museum's senior conservator job, to be called the Neubauer Family Chair of Conservation.

The job is held by P. Andrew Lins.

The donation matches a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help the museum endow its senior positions. H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, chairman of the museum's board of trustees, said that since the museum began its current capital campaign, it has received money to endow six senior staff positions and five fellowships.

Endowing a position means money produced by the donation is earmarked to pay for that position in years to come.

Aramark, which sells hot dogs and french fries at sports arenas, including the First Union Center, is one of the nation's largest food-concession companies.

Neubauer serves on the museum's corporate executive board. Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, who is president of J.P. Lerman & Co., serves on the museum's modern and contemporary art committee.

"Jeanette and I are proud to help secure the status of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a preeminent conservator - as a trainer of experts who will protect and preserve the best of our material culture - and as a source of scholarly research," Joseph Neubauer said in a statement.

The conservation department cares for the museum's collections of more than 300,000 objects and provides oversight and advice for the care of much of the region's public sculpture and historic architecture.

About $250,000 of the Neubauers' pledge will be used to purchase a scanning electron microscope, which can magnify art samples up to 100,000 times, and to train staff members to use it.

Lins joined the museum's conservation staff in 1979. He is a consultant for the preservation and conservation of the Statue of Liberty, the Lincoln Memorial and the Liberty Bell, for which he has served as an adviser for 20 years.

He is also a member of the Conservation Panel for Philadelphia's Office of Art and Culture, which oversees the conservation of the 600 monuments and sculptures in the city's care, including Alexander Milne Calder's 37-foot bronze sculpture of William Penn atop Philadelphia's City Hall and Alexander Stirling Calder's Swann Fountain.

Contact staff writer Patricia Horn at 215-854-2560 or phorn@phillynews.com.

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