Champion Cultural Philanthropist Loti Smorgon Dies
Thursday, 22nd August 2013 at 11:53 am
Australia is mourning one of the country’s greatest arts benefactors, Loti Smorgon, who died on Tuesday.
Smorgon, the widow of industrialist Victor Smorgon, was 94. After 73 years of marriage, her husband predeceased her in 2009. He was 96.
The Smorgons became one of Australia’s great philanthropic couples, donating millions through their Victor and Loti Smorgon Foundation to health, medical research and arts institutions.
The Smorgons were most well known for their generosity to the arts. In 1995, the couple donated 154 contemporary Australian works to Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art.
Loti Smorgon was a former board member of the National Gallery of Victoria.
The Smorgons made their fortune in paper, packaging and steel.
Philanthropy Australia CEO, Louise Walsh described Loti Smorgon as an ‘awesome cultural philanthropist’.
“Both Loti and Victor were groundbreaking cultural philanthropists who have inspired many more philanthropists by their actions.Either there are no banners, they are disabled or none qualified for this location!
Walsh said that most of their giving was very much in the public domain where you could see the power of their gifts.
She said the impact of their philanthropy has been strongly taken up by their children and extended family members.
The National Gallery of Victoria paid tribute to Loti Smorgon describing her as "one of the NGV's greatest benefactors and a true friend of all of us here at the NGV".
Loti Smorgon is survived by three of her four daughters, her 15 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
Image: Loti Smorgon unveils portrait at Royal Children's Hospital, 2012. Courtesy of Royal Children's Hospital.