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Death of Maurice Burrison

Maurice Burrison, W '32, curator and director of the Faculty Club's Burrison Art Gallery and former interior designer and fine arts consultant in the department of Facilities Planning, died December 10 at the age of 92. He once said, "One of the missions I have to this University is to raise the consciousness of people on this campus to the art around them."

Mr. Burrison began mounting art in the Faculty Club in 1978 after getting advice, "If you start it, keep it up." And so, Mr. Burrison did just that, for some 23 years, averaging eleven shows per year. The works of more than 200 artists connected to the Penn community have been shown. He organized well over 200 shows including watercolors by Charles Addams; sketches and watercolors by Lewis Mumford; Bo Brown cartoons; the work of George Crumb and Henry Primakoff; photographs by Art Siegel; Charles Lee and Bruce Montgomery, Sam Maitin, Max Mason, Bernett Johnson; Jacqueline Jacovini; Ann Wetzel and many more. A 1998 show honored Penn Women in Athletics and a 1999 show, Salute to Penn's Glee Club, was an exhibition of memorabilia from the group's 1862 beginnings.

The Faculty Club Gallery was named for Mr. Burrison in 1990 to recognize the tireless commitment he had to this endeavor. The Gallery was rededicated in its new home at the Inn at Penn in 1999.

Mr. Burrison was a frequent contributor to Speaking Out when he discerned an opportunity to share a discovery of interesting art on campus, whether it was the Saul Steinberg art at the Arthur Ross Gallery (Almanac November 7, 1995); the sale of the original Maxfield Parrish mural from the Mask & Wig Club House (Almanac March 26, 1996); the rhetorical questions about the quality of design in campus architecture (Almanac December 3, 1996); or the addition of the Fox Gallery (Almanac September 8, 1998).

And, this was all after he retired. He had come to Penn in 1968 to create an Office Planning Design and Project Management in the Facilities Planning Office. Over the years, he worked on the high rise dorms, the furnishings and interior design for the Annenberg Center, the School of Medicine, HUP and College Hall to name a few. He retired in 1977 from that position and remained involved as a consultant.

Mr. Burrison wrote a regular column in the early 1960s in the Jewish Exponent "to give homemaker ideas and points of view on home decoration. A designer, stylist, fabric buyer and showroom manager for furniture manufacturers, Mr. Burrison draws on a wealth of experience when he speaks of home interiors." He was then the Philadelphia manager of the Bethlehem Furniture Manufacturing Corporation.

He was the president of the Spruce Hill Community Association in 1958-59.

He is survived by his sons, John and Bill.

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 16, December 18, 2001


December 18, 2001
Volume 48 Number 16

Philadelphia Police/FBI Investigation of Terrorism includes interviews of some students; Penn offers resources to students who want them.
A look back at this week in Penn's history, a stroll through Almanac's of the past.
Penn's Way Campaign is at the mid-point with more weekly prizes as well as the grand prize to be drawn.
Winter Break Safety: special safety checks are available from December22 through January 6.
The founding curator of the Burrison Art Gallery which bears his name, dies at the age of 92.
Another Penn Woman who made her mark some 40 years ago is remembered.
Some Penn researchers' findings could yield embryonic stem cells while others analyze predictors of future arthritis in dogs.

January AT PENN brings the celebration of Chinese New Year and many MLK events throughout the month.