Receives Berman Papers
On behalf of the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Nancy
Berman, the foundationís director, has made a gift to Lehigh
Philip and Muriel Berman
Lehigh University Special Collections
University Special Collections of the papers of her
Phil and Muriel Berman. Nancy Berman is a member of Lehighís
Board of Trustees and museum director emeritus of the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where she is also
on the boards of several organizations devoted to arts and
culture. Phil and Muriel Berman were philanthropists and
patrons of the arts for more than 50 years. Their collected
papers, which include extensive photographic materials,
represent the Bermansí business, civic, and cultural
activities locally, nationally and internationally.
As a result of the Bermansí active role as collectors and
art patrons, the papers include correspondence with major
twentieth century artists, such as sculptor Henry Moore.
Other papers relate to the Bermansí various business
interests, such as their 18 trucking companies, Allen
Electric Company, Leader Nursing Homes Corporation, and the
Hess Department Stores, Inc. After the Bermans purchased
Hess's from Max Hess in 1968, the store was expanded from
its flagship location in downtown Allentown to a chain of 38
stores throughout several states.
Another part of the collection features a large photographic
archive of major outdoor sculptures documented by the
Bermans during their extensive travels throughout the world.
The late Philip Bermanís travel journals, enjoyed by many
friends, are also among the papers.
The Bermans' civic and philanthropic activities are also
represented in the collection. These include the Muriel and
Philip Berman National Medical Library in Hadassah Hospital
at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Philip and Muriel
Berman Art Museum at Ursinus College, and the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, where Philip Berman was named chairman of the
Board of Trustees in 1989. Both Philip and Muriel Berman
were active in promoting public television at many levels
and involved in numerous other causes.
At Lehigh, the Bermans established the Philip and Muriel
Berman Center for Jewish Studies and an annual lecture
series in economics. The many outdoor sculptures donated by
the Bermans are prominently displayed throughout the campus,
including in the Muriel and Philip Berman Sculpture Garden
adjacent to the Fairchild Martindale Library. Lehigh awarded
honorary doctorate of humane letters degrees to Philip
(1969), Muriel (1991) and Nancy (1997) Berman.
The papers can be accessed through Library and Technology
Services Special Collections. For more information, please
contact Christine Roysdon, Director of Library Systems and
Collections, at 610-758-3049.
--Susan A. Cady
LTS Director for Administrative and Planning Services
Article posted January