Burrison, W '32, curator and director of the Faculty Club's Burrison
Art Gallery and former interior designer and fine arts consultant
in the department of Facilities Planning, died December 10 at
the age of 92. He once said, "One of the missions I have
to this University is to raise the consciousness of people on
this campus to the art around them."
Mr. Burrison began mounting art in the Faculty
Club in 1978 after getting advice, "If you start it, keep
it up." And so, Mr. Burrison did just that, for some 23 years,
averaging eleven shows per year. The works of more than 200 artists
connected to the Penn community have been shown. He organized
well over 200 shows including watercolors by Charles Addams; sketches
and watercolors by Lewis Mumford; Bo Brown cartoons; the work
of George Crumb and Henry Primakoff; photographs by Art Siegel;
Charles Lee and Bruce Montgomery, Sam Maitin, Max Mason, Bernett
Johnson; Jacqueline Jacovini; Ann Wetzel and many more. A 1998
show honored Penn Women in Athletics and a 1999 show, Salute
to Penn's Glee Club, was an exhibition of memorabilia from
the group's 1862 beginnings.
The Faculty Club Gallery was named for Mr.
Burrison in 1990 to recognize the tireless commitment he had to
this endeavor. The Gallery was rededicated in its new home at
the Inn at Penn in 1999.
Mr. Burrison was a frequent contributor to
Speaking Out when he discerned an opportunity to share a discovery
of interesting art on campus, whether it was the Saul Steinberg
art at the Arthur Ross Gallery (Almanac November 7, 1995);
the sale of the original Maxfield Parrish mural from the Mask
& Wig Club House (Almanac March 26, 1996); the rhetorical
questions about the quality of design in campus architecture (Almanac
December 3, 1996); or the addition of the Fox Gallery (Almanac
September 8, 1998).
And, this was all after he retired. He had
come to Penn in 1968 to create an Office Planning Design and Project
Management in the Facilities Planning Office. Over the years,
he worked on the high rise dorms, the furnishings and interior
design for the Annenberg Center, the School of Medicine, HUP and
College Hall to name a few. He retired in 1977 from that position
and remained involved as a consultant.
Mr. Burrison wrote a regular column in the
early 1960s in the Jewish Exponent "to give homemaker
ideas and points of view on home decoration. A designer, stylist,
fabric buyer and showroom manager for furniture manufacturers,
Mr. Burrison draws on a wealth of experience when he speaks of
home interiors." He was then the Philadelphia manager of
the Bethlehem Furniture Manufacturing Corporation.
He was the president of the Spruce Hill Community
Association in 1958-59.
He is survived by his sons, John and Bill.