John B. Moore, Jr. (1916-2011)
Valued member of the Mitchell Gallery
and St. John’s community
Clockwise from bottom center - John B. Moore, Jr., Joyce J. Scott,
Leslie King-Hammond, Ellen Burchenal, Oletha DeVane, and Linda DePalma.
The Board of Advisors of the Mitchell Gallery of St. John’s College, the patrons of and visitors to the Mitchell Gallery, past, present and future, are grateful for the gentle and wise leadership of John Buell Moore, Jr., that resulted in the founding of the Mitchell Gallery and securing its permanence. The board extends its deepest condolences to John’s family: son John Garland Moore and Mrs. Julia Moore; daughter Catherine L. Moore Stephens and Mr. Carl Stephens; grandson, Dr. John Garland Moore, Jr., and Mrs. Jennifer Moore; and, great-granddaughters, Jessica Lynn Moore and Jacqueline Marie Moore.
John was remarkable for the courtly way he applied both his wisdom and his wit to whatever the matter at hand might be: a luncheon conversation or an issue of long-range planning. And he was keen in his pursuit of ideas that piqued his curiosity -from admiring an unusual work of art, to testing new kinds of cheese, to contemplating the curmudgeonly essays of H. L. Mencken. For John it was always a matter of seeing the myriad possibilities in things, large and small.
John died on January 1, 2011, at age 94. Always curious, he was interested in the life of the mind and deeply engaged with the arts. A great fan of St. John’s College, John agreed with others that an intimate environment to contemplate and study works of art could enhance the college. He understood that a college gallery could be a bridge to the surrounding Annapolis community with exhibitions and opportunities for arts education and collaboration with artists and other arts disciplines.
The gallery opened in 1989 with John as founding chairman of the Mitchell Gallery Committee of the Board of the Friends of St. John’s College. He continued as chair when the committee relinquished its association with the Friends board and became The Mitchell Gallery Board of Advisors. John remained as chairman for a decade, stepping down at midnight on December 31, 2000, to become gallery chairman emeritus, participating in the life of the gallery and regularly attending board meetings until his death. One of his primary objectives for the gallery was to encourage collaborative efforts with regional artists and arts organizations and he was proud of the resulting exhibitions and performances.. During his tenure the board created and expanded the gallery’s membership programs, sponsored major fundraising events and established the Mitchell Gallery Endowment.
In the mid-1960’s, John joined the Maryland State government, eventually becoming the Director of Historical and Cultural Programs, where he remained until retiring in 1987. It was during those decades that he enthusiastically supported the founding and advancement of the Maryland State Arts Council, among other programs. The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, and Maryland Art Place, enjoyed the benefit of his board service where he paid close attention to processes for strategic planning, board development and governance. In 2001 his dedication was recognized by St. John’s College when John was made an Honorary Alumnus and by the arts and cultural community when he was honored with an Annie by the Anne Arundel County Arts Council.
John will be keenly missed by his friends and colleagues because of the civility of his heart, the life lessons he imparted, the diversity and intelligence of his thoughts and the twinkle in his eyes.
Keren Dement, member of the Mitchell Gallery Board of Advisors