The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation, a Waco-area supporter of the arts and civic initiatives, donated several paintings to the Baylor University Libraries. The collection of originals, prints and one-of-a-kind paintings includes a watercolor drawing by an elephant, a print of “Moses and the Burning Bush” by Arnold Friberg and a tissue paper collage by the Rapoports’ daughter-in-law.
“I think frequently young people graduate from universities without being exposed to art or to the idea that a picture can sometimes be more educationally rewarding than a book of 400 or 500 pages,” said Bernard Rapoport, founder and chairman of the foundation.
The paintings “have found a home in several areas of the Central Libraries where students and library staff can enjoy them,” said John Wilson, director of library advancement.
Rapoport, the son of a Jewish Russian immigrant, grew up during the Great Depression and an era of widespread racial bigotry. Because of the intolerance and social injustice he experienced and witnessed during his formative years, Rapoport grew passionate for the aid of the disadvantaged.
Today, the foundation supports initiatives in education, arts and culture, healthcare, and community-building in the Waco area and across McLennanCounty. The donation to Baylor represents Rapoport’s belief that a focus on the fine arts is crucial to a well-rounded education.
Rapoport says his work with the new Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin furthers his desire to promote the benefits of exposing students to the fine arts.
“Having been through many art museums, seldom do I walk out of a museum without feeling enriched,” he said. “I think every university should have a growing library.”
- Jonathan Ludwig