Renowned philanthropist and distinguished alumnus Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. has once again affirmed his commitment to the arts at LSU by agreeing to donate $175,000 to the LSU School of Art’s Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. Exhibition Gallery. With this latest donation, Glassell has given nearly $500,000 in endowments to support the gallery that bears his name in the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge.
“Alfred Glassell has, more than anyone in recent years, helped the School of Art meet many of its National Flagship Agenda goals,” said Dean David Cronrath of the LSU College of Art and Design.
Glassell’s gifts have permitted the School of Art to build one of the most significant art venues in the entire state, and its innovative programming has brought some of the most important contemporary issues in art to the greater LSU community. The income from this latest endowment will be used to help offset the cost of exhibitions, gallery talks, special art events and lectures at the gallery.
Though Glassell has called Houston home for several decades, he is a Louisiana native and a 1934 graduate of LSU, where he was an outstanding student and campus leader. He belonged to 13 honor societies, served as ROTC commander and led the student body as president.
His family also made a name for itself in the Baton Rouge area. His father built the Heidelberg Hotel, now known as the Capitol House, and the former Auto Hotel – a parking garage — which was restored when the structure was incorporated into the Shaw Center for the Arts. The former Auto Hotel is now home to the LSU Museum of Art and the Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. School of Art Exhibition Gallery.
Glassell had a long and distinguished career in the petrochemical industry and was a leader in the energy field. In more recent decades, he has established himself as a world-class art collector and has worked tirelessly to make the arts more accessible to the general public.
“With his most recent gift, Mr. Glassell has substantially and permanently enhanced the School of Art’s ability to operate our downtown gallery and workspaces,” said School of Art Interim Director Rod Parker. “These resulted from the community-driven rehabilitation of a structure built by his father in the early part of the last century, so his generosity today has a symmetry to it that is both exquisite and poignant for us to contemplate.”