Let Them Eat Cake!

Ground was broken today on the new Edgar N. Putman Pavilion at the James A. Michener Art Museum, scheduled to be complete in 2012. More than 100 guests filled the Sculpture Garden to celebrate the construction of the 3,400 square foot addition designed by KieranTimberlake of Philadelphia.

Among those present were Charles Martin, Bucks County Commissioners Chairman; Robert Loughery, Vice Chairman; Keren Putman, wife of the late Edgar N. Putman; William Haas, Visit Bucks County president of the board; Pennsylvania State Sen. Chuck McIlhinney; a number of museum trustees including Herman Silverman, “grandfather” of the Michener Art Museum; and Jeffrey A. Miller, president of Jeffrey Miller Catering Co., the exclusive caterer for the Putman Pavilion.

In prepared remarks, Commissioner Martin called the Michener “a highlight of Bucks County tourism,” saying the pavilion would bring more visitors and be a boon to Bucks County. “Edgar Putman’s generosity is known throught the community,” he said.

Keren Putman, who was married to Edgar for seven years and is the mother of Sen. McIlhinney, said her late husband had been an ambassador for Bucks County wherever they traveled, and made people happy with his humor and stories.

Museum Director and CEO Bruce Katsiff said the Pavilion was a present from Kevin Putman, president of the Museum’s trustees, to his father, announced while Edgar was still living.

The principle function of the event pavilion, announced Katsiff, is as a space for programmatic activities: Jazz Nights, lectures and receptions, but the secondary function is for earned income so the Museum can be sustaining. He announced the Museum’s newest partner, Jeffrey Miller Catering, and spoke of plans to keep the event pavilion filled with activities throughout the year.

The Pavilion is expected to generate an additional $150,000-$200,000 annually, or the equivalent revenue generated by an increased endowment of $3-$4 million.

JAM Catering showcased what it can do with sandwiches, pastries, ice teas, and a cake-cutting ceremony, during which cheesecake lollipops were passed.

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