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The Masterpiece Society Celebrates 25 Years

Twenty-five years ago, an innovative group of Chrysler Museum supporters devised a creative way for Museum Members to simultaneously increase their understanding of art and collecting, purchase works of art for the Chrysler's permanent collection, and enjoy the company of fellow art enthusiasts.

William Morris Canopic Jar with Deer Head “It was formed in Linda Kaufman’s living room,” said Leah Waitzer, former Trustee and Founding Masterpiece Society Member. “A group of us were trying to find a way to build the membership and raise money for the Museum.”

And that is has. Since its inception, the Masterpiece Society has hosted numerous artists and art experts from around the world. Originally named the Mowbray Arch Society, this prestigious group started with 157 members. Since 1992, membership has steadily grown and the Masterpiece Society has collectively contributed more than $2 million dedicated to the Chrysler's acquisition of art.

At the annual Art Purchase Dinner held in December, members of the Masterpiece Society hear presentations from the Chrysler Curatorial staff, then collectively vote to select one work of art to be added to the Museum's permanent collection. Funding for this special acquisition is provided through annual Masterpiece Society membership contributions. Furthermore, this annual event introduced 45 additional works of art whose purchases were made possible through the generosity of Masterpiece Society members and other Museum patrons.

For over a quarter century, the Masterpiece Society has left a profound impact on the Chrysler's permanent collection. Their generosity and participation in this unique and impactful program leaves a lasting legacy of community philanthropy.

Masterpiece Society Members enjoy all of the benefits of the other levels and:

  • Invitations to special Masterpiece Society exhibition previews, lectures, Museum programs, and social events, including the annual Art Purchase Dinner and Conversations with the Curators
  • Invitations to participate in special art travel experiences designed exclusively for Masterpiece Society Members
  • The ability to arrange for private consultations with the Museum's curators and conservator
  • Private tours

For more information on how to join the Masterpiece Society, please contact Kate Sanderlin, Major Giving Officer, at 757-333-6318 or