Alumna, arts patron Mary Wolfe dies at 82

Wolfe_Mary_bgsu98012

Bowling Green State University is saddened to learn of the death of Mary Wolfe ’68, on Oct. 23. She was an alumna, a former art history faculty member and gallery director and, with her husband, Frederic (Fritz), a longtime and generous supporter of the arts at BGSU and around the region.

In 2005, the Wolfes and the Wolfe Family Charitable Foundation presented a $1.5 million leadership gift to the University for the construction of the arts building that bears their name.

"Mary and her husband, Fritz, have been longstanding supporters of BGSU," said Mary Ellen Mazey, president of the University. "Their contributions, especially for the construction of The Wolfe Center for the Arts, have made a lasting impression on the campus and our students. Her legacy will last for generations. Our deepest condolences go out to Fritz and the rest of Mary's family."

Designed to promote collaboration among the arts, the Wolfe Center became the new home of the Department of Theatre and Film as well as the digital arts program of the School of Art. With spaces for choral and other rehearsals, it includes both the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre and the Eva Marie Saint Theatre and serves as a venue for many campus events and productions.

After receiving her master’s degree in art history and painting from BGSU in 1968, Mary Wolfe taught the history of art until 1976, and served as director of exhibitions for the McFall Center Gallery until the mid-1980s, showcasing the work of many Ohio and BGSU artists, including glass art pioneer Dominick Labino, along with other innovative exhibits.

Her research interests were in classical Greek and Roman art and Renaissance art, especially the Italian. Throughout her life, she continued to give talks about art and art history to area groups and made many international trips to see art. She and her husband were avid collectors and proponents of the arts.

During the 1980s, she was also an officer of the Medici Circle, the BGSU arts support organization. In 1982, the group presented her its Il Magnifico Award for her service to the School of Art.

A member of the Ohio Arts Council, in she received the Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2011. BGSU honored her achievements at a special ceremony at the Toledo School for the Arts, of which the University is the sponsor, presenting her an original piece of glass art by a BGSU student.