Cheltenham High School Hall of Fame

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Arthur  Magill

class of 1925
inducted in 1984

Arthur Magill

Industrialist & Philanthropist

A 1929 graduate of Swarthmore College, Arthur Magill inherited and ran his father's children's underwear business, Her Majesty Industries. In 1955, he moved the company headquarters from Pennsylvania to Greenville, South Carolina, where he and his wife Holly have since made their home. The firm was sold to Gulf and Western in the mid-70's.

In 1974, the Magills contributed half the construction costs for the Greenville County Museum of Art -- the first
South Carolina museum built in the twentieth century. The building's first exhibition featured works of the renowned American illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Soon afterwards the musuem exhibited the work of Wyeth's son Andrew, at which time the Magills owned only one Wyeth watercolor.

New York's Metropolitan Museum and the Boston Museum of Art were conducting negotiations with Joseph E. Levine, the movie producer, for the purchase of his Wyeth collection in 1979. However, neither would agree to his stipulation that the works remain on permanent display. Magill purchased the 26 Wyeth works from Levine and they are now on permanent loan to the Greenville County Museum. Today he owns the world's largest collection of Wyeth's works, having purchased 230 directly from the artist's personal collection. He owns more of Wyeth's than Andrew Wyeth!

Magill plays tennis (despite two heart bypass operations), writes poetry, travels in order to photograph Wyeth's original backdrops and loves walking through the galleries with visiting schoolchildren.