class of 1925
inducted in 1984
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.
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.