Levine estate gives $7.6 million to Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum received a $7.6 million gift from the estate of Leonard LeVine, who was the owner of Rosenberg’s Department Store, and his wife, Bebe. Leonard Levine passed away in 2008.

The donation is designated to advance and improve the museum’s art collection and presentation and is more than double the previous largest willed gift that the museum has received.

“It is an honor to be the sole beneficiary of the LeVine’s estate. The donation will be used to further the legacy of this remarkable couple, Leonard and Bebe LeVine, who willed these funds to the museum,” said Daniel Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

LeVine was president and owner of Rosenberg’s Department Store, a women’s apparel store. He graduated from Whitefish Bay High School and the University of Pennsylvania and lettered in track at both institutions. He served his country during World War II as a major in the Army Air Corps. Bebe was a naval officer and Navy photographer during World War II. They were married in 1946 and collected art for their Fox Point home over the years.

“Mr. and Mrs. LeVine appreciated art, and wanted to keep the Milwaukee Art Museum a world-class museum,” said the estate’s executor and longtime family friend Tricia Knight. “Mr. LeVine was clear that this gift be used to keep the museum a leading institution.”

According to Keegan, the money will be used for future acquisitions and as part of the museum’s long-term strategic plan. A gallery space will be named in the LeVines’ honor.

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