Winter 2017 Issue

Building a Cultural Legacy

BOV names The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts

By University Advancement Staff

William & Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art will soon expand significantly as it becomes part of a new, multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art Center for the Visual Arts.

On Nov. 18, the Board of Visitors unanimously approved a measure that will name the center in honor of one of the museum’s greatest benefactors: Martha Wren Briggs ’55, an alumna who has spent most of her life advancing the arts on and off campus. The center will be known as The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts.

“Martha is a passionate patron of the arts and a philanthropist who has given back to her alma mater in countless ways,” said President Taylor Reveley. “By naming the new center for the visual arts after Martha, we ensure that her remarkable legacy will live on for all time coming.”

The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts will be established with the central mission of advancing art and artists, building a dynamic and vibrant community, promoting thought-provoking dialogue and encouraging diverse and creative thinking. Its expansive space will house world-class exhibitions featuring interactive technologies and a teaching center for research and engaged learning, including the study of tangible works of art. It will have a modern auditorium, gathering spaces, and serve as home to the Muscarelle Museum of Art.

Martha Wren Briggs is an accomplished writer and art historian who has published several award- winning articles and books on internationally acclaimed artists such as Louis Comfort Tiffany. After earning a bachelor of arts at William & Mary, Martha completed her master’s in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Martha previously made a gift for the restoration of the campus amphitheatre — also named in her honor — and has supported need-based scholarships for students studying the arts.

To support The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts, contact Muscarelle Director Aaron De Groft ’88 at or 757.221.2701.