How did you become involved with The Hyde Collection?
Mark: I was aware of the importance of The Hyde Collection for years, but when former Director Fred Fisher took me on a tour of the new Educational Wing in 1989, my eyes were really opened. I recognized for the first time that the absolute gem reposing quietly on Warren Street was truly a treasure of national or international importance that should be supported and appreciated by a far larger audience for its brilliant collection, its setting, and the uniquely generous leadership of Mr. and Mrs. Hyde who turned over their beautiful home and beloved works of art for the benefit of the community. I later served as a trustee and vice chair of the Board of Trustees and am now a trustee emeritus.
Tara: I was introduced to The Hyde when my mother, who had returned to college later in life, was researching an art history paper and focused on The Hyde. I accompanied her on a visit to the museum. Later, when I lived and worked within walking distance of The Hyde, I marveled that so many of the world’s greatest masterpieces of art lived permanently just around the corner in Glens Falls. How did Glens Falls find itself so fortunate that it become the home of great art on exhibit for the entire community to enjoy?
What does it mean to you to serve as Co-Chairs of The Hyde Collection 60th Anniversary Gala: A Dream Realized as we celebrate this milestone season and honoree Mary Renz?
The greatest masterpieces associated with The Hyde are Mr. and Mrs. Hyde themselves, not only for the distinguished collection they amassed and the beautiful home they displayed it in, but for their extraordinary generosity. Throughout their lives, the Hydes were generous benefactors to the community, to children and families in need, to students seeking higher education, and to essential institutions like Glens Falls Hospital. It is an honor for us to pay tribute to their most significant donation, their home and art collection, on the 60th anniversary of the opening of the museum. We especially appreciate the opportunity to celebrate our friend Mary Renz, the Hydes’ granddaughter, who with her husband Franklin and other members of her family have honored the Hydes’ tradition and been steadfast stewards of their gift. Mary’s loyal service and quiet leadership have been an inspiration to trustees, directors, and friends of The Hyde for generations. Through their generosity, the Hyde today still elevates Glens Falls and our entire region.
What excites you most about the future of The Hyde Collection?
We see The Hyde as 60 years young – and just getting started. We are energized by the opportunities to realize Mrs. Hyde’s dream, to heighten the visibility of this world-class collection and truly bring it to the attention of the world. When Mrs. Hyde died in 1963, The Post-Star described The Hyde Collection as “the finest of its kind in New York State outside New York City and Buffalo.” The Collection has grown considerably in 60 years, such that a few years ago The Wall Street Journal declared to its global readership that The Hyde is “a glorious museum (that) would be an honorable addition to any city, small or large. In the Adirondacks, it is astonishing.” Astonishing indeed. Mrs. Hyde left a simple, clear directive to future generations. She wanted her home and her collection to be used “to promote and cultivate the improvement of the fine arts, for the education and benefit of the residents of Glens Falls and vicinity and the general public.” Her gift was an expression of her love for and confidence in future generations. She expected only that we would take the necessary steps to see that every child who grows up in the Glens Falls area knows that he or she comes from a community where some of the greatest art the human mind ever conceived and executed still lives in perpetuity, as the generous gift of a woman who loved art and her neighbors.