2018-06-09 / News

Manoogian Exhibit Celebrates Connection Between People and Pets

By Marley Tucker


Karl and Donna Krueger of Mt. Clemens have attended the Grand Hotel’s “Titanic At The Grand” for eight consecutive years. They were pleasantly surprised by the paintings offered in the Mannogian Collection. Mrs. Krueger is wearing a purple tea dress whose heyday was centered in the Edwardian era (1900-1920). One of her favorite selections in the “Art of Our Loved Ones” exhibition was the 1887 painting “Rabbits” by Charlotte Mount Brock Schreiber, seen on the back wall in the photograph of “Pair of Portraits.” Karl and Donna Krueger of Mt. Clemens have attended the Grand Hotel’s “Titanic At The Grand” for eight consecutive years. They were pleasantly surprised by the paintings offered in the Mannogian Collection. Mrs. Krueger is wearing a purple tea dress whose heyday was centered in the Edwardian era (1900-1920). One of her favorite selections in the “Art of Our Loved Ones” exhibition was the 1887 painting “Rabbits” by Charlotte Mount Brock Schreiber, seen on the back wall in the photograph of “Pair of Portraits.” “Art of Our Loved Ones,” celebrating the connection between people and their pets, is the theme of this year’s art exhibition at Grand Hotel, hosted by the Musser family and Richard and Jane Manoogian, that was debuted at a reception Sunday, June 3.

Jazz mixed with conversation as guests strolled among the works brought to the hotel gallery from the Manoogians’ personal collection. The reception highlights the relationship between the Manoogians and Grand Hotel, which has presented art from their collection for more than two decades.


Patty Croom (left) and Federica Tegeler discuss the unique humor presented in “Pair of Portraits: Cat Woman and Dog Man” by Thomas Sulley. Ms. Croom likes the traditional clothing and thinks the contrast between animal and human is particularly striking. Patty Croom (left) and Federica Tegeler discuss the unique humor presented in “Pair of Portraits: Cat Woman and Dog Man” by Thomas Sulley. Ms. Croom likes the traditional clothing and thinks the contrast between animal and human is particularly striking. West Bluff summer residents and philanthropists, the Manoogians each year make up a special exhibit of works from their array of paintings from 19th-century and 20thcentury artists. These paintings blend well with the colors and themes used by the hotel’s interior designer, Carleton Varney.

“We bought our cottage in 1989, and one day when we were walking in the Grand Hotel my wife said that some of our pictures would look terrific here because they were painted around the same time that the hotel was built back in the 1800s,” said Mr. Manoogian. “Amelia Musser was standing nearby and heard that and came up to us and said, ‘We’d love to hang some of your pictures here.’ That was the start of it all, and now we’ve been putting on shows here since 1990.”

Every spring, Grand Hotel invites Island residents, hotel guests, and members of the community to a reception honoring the art exhibition. More than 250 people attended this year. The theme changes from year to year. “Art of Our Loved Ones” was inspired by the Manoogians’ passion for their oil paintings and the love Island resident show for their children and pets. The paintings on display were chosen to “help us recall good times spent with those we love,” they wrote on brochures handed out to exhibit viewers.

The exhibit is an illustration of the recent surge in art enthusiasm on the Island. It has become a place where the presentation and promotion of art is a part of the character of the community, said Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Phil Porter.

The Manoogians’ favorite piece in this year’s exhibition is “Two Gun Dogs” by John Emms, because the golden retrievers shown in the 1898 oil painting remind them of their own two dogs, Amber and Daisy.

“We’ve always had dogs named Amber and Daisy, ever since we seasonally moved to the Island,” said Mrs. Manoogian. “Just this morning, Amber ran away after getting spooked by the toaster going off. Luckily, she was found on the steps of the hotel porch. The hotel staff called us. She just loves it here and it’s good exercise.”

During the reception, gallery visitors could act as art critics and vote for their favorite paintings. The critic’s choice winner this year was “Youth and Sunshine” by Edward Dufner. The 1916 painting is one of Mr. Dufner’s most iconic works, fashioned when he began delving into impressionism. The painting features young girls resting at the water’s edge, with lush foliage contrasting against a colorfully dappled blue sky. The painting, reminiscent of a summer afternoon, resonated with viewers because of its peaceful landscape.

Another piece viewers enjoyed was “Pair of Portraits: Cat Woman and Dog Man” by American artist Thomas Sulley. Patty Croom and Federica Tegeler were intrigued by the uniqueness of the portraits. The paintings depicted human bodies with cat and dog heads, wearing formal attire.

“These pieces are so special because they’re different, and more humorous than the other paintings we’ve seen. I’m not sure if I like or dislike them, but they stand out in their own way and catch you off guard,” said Ms. Croom. Ms. Tegeler also found interest in some American artists shown in the gallery, unfamiliar to her, as she is visiting from Germany.

Mr. Manoogian’s father, Alex, was an Armenian refugee who left Turkey after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. He came to the United States, invented the Delta faucet and founded Masco Corporation. Mr. Manoogian inher- ited the company from his father and expanded the business. He also became involved with the arts, interested in American Impressionist’s artwork, and wanted to share the beauty of the couple’s paintings to demonstrate his appreciation for the country and its gifts.

“In 1920 my father was an immigrant to this country. He did very well, and we are grateful for America,” Mr. Manoogian said. “We always try to find paintings that showed the country back when it really grew, from the 1800s forward. We have always been active in sharing what we can with as many people as possible. Art is best enjoyed with others.”

The Detroit Institute of Arts currently has two exhibits from the Manoogian’s personal collection that travel around the state to areas that aren’t typically involved with art exhibitions, said Mr. Manoogian.

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