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Getting to Know You

Reciprocal Members Joan and Howard Minsky

The Minskys spend a lot of time in museums.  Residents of Mount Lebanon, Joan is a retired fourth-grade teacher and Howard is a practicing attorney. Now that their three children are grown and off on exciting careers, the Minskys pursue their passion for “art-related” travel. They have visited museums and cultural sites all over the world—two favorites are the Musee D’Orsay in Paris and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. With so much mileage under their belts, we asked the Minskys to comment on the museums in their own back yard.

Favorite Carnegie Museums: 

Carnegie Museum of Art.  We always come to the International. We didn’t care for it at first, but the more we learned [through docent tours and repeat visits] the more we liked it.  The Andy Warhol Museum—We took our two grandchildren and they loved it. They identify with the modern art much more than we do.

Favorite experience: 

Bringing my young students to the art museum was the biggest thing. They were glued to every picture. I remember when they saw Monet’s Waterlilies, they just sat on a bench and stared. They couldn’t believe they were lucky enough to see an original. 

Good reasons to be members: 

Reciprocal privileges.  When we visit other museums, we always ask whether our Carnegie membership card entitles us to free admission and discounts on shop merchandise. Guest privileges.  Our membership level enables us to bring guests to the museums. I invited a close friend to come with me, and she enjoyed it so much that she eventually joined.  -Joan

Last word: 

I wasn’t into art when I went to college and didn’t take advantage of the museums at all. It wasn’t until we began to travel that I realized how interesting they are. I don’t know exactly what attracts me?maybe it has to do with my interest in photography?but I make sure that I take in a new exhibit whenever I can.  –Howard

After Hours at Bear Run

It’s summer, it’s hot, and the best place to be is outside. Join Carnegie Science Center and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for a members-only, family event at Bear Run Nature Reserve (Mill Run, PA, near Fallingwater), Friday August 20 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. There will be stargazing, astronomy activities, and night hikes along woods and streams with glimpses of Fallingwater glowing off in the distance. Overnight camping with breakfast in the morning is also available. Look for your invitation this month.

Great Gifts

Kaufmann’s and Carnegie Museums are teaming up to offer members a unique gift idea: a Kaufmann’s Gift Card and a Carnegie Museums membership. Here’s how it works--when you purchase a Gift Card at one of Kaufmann’s eight Pittsburgh locations between July 12 and July 25, you’ll receive a discount on a Carnegie Museums gift membership (membership discount forms provided when you purchase your Gift Card*). 
* Gift Cards available while supply lasts. Kaufmann’s is the local sponsor of Carnegie Museum of Art’s exhibition Merchant Prince and Master Builder: Edgar J. Kaufmann and Frank Lloyd Wright, on view through October 3.

Member Tips

Renew your membership before it expires, and we’ll send you free Omnimax tickets* as a special thank you! When your renewal notice arrives in the mail, return it promptly with your membership contribution. Your Omnimax ticket vouchers will be sent along with your new membership card.  *Offer includes 4 passes at Combined Family level, 2 passes at Science Center Family and Museums Family levels, and 1 pass at all Individual levels (Student memberships excluded).

Traveling this summer? Don’t forget to pack your membership card. Membership cards with Carnegie Science Center privileges are honored at more than 200 science centers in this country and abroad. Reciprocal members also enjoy free admission to 29 major art and natural history museums. To find out if there is a participating museum or science center near your vacation destination, stop by the membership desk on your next visit or call 622-3314.

Donor Profile: The Next Generation 

Meet Jill and Craig Tillotson. They could be the poster family for the “new” Pittsburgh. Born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, the Tillotsons have chosen to stay and raise their four children here. They live in the North Hills, Craig works in the city, and they care about organizations that contribute to their children’s development and help make Pittsburgh stronger.

Craig is Executive Vice President with Hefren Tillotson Inc., founded in 1948 by his grandfather and now one of the largest investment firms in the region. His sister and father are also involved in the firm. “Our business has been here for over 50 years and we don’t want to see the town decline or young people leaving,” says Craig. “Places like Heinz Hall and Carnegie Museums add to the quality of life here. It’s one of the key reasons we’re a corporate supporter.”
The Tillotsons have also been individual members of Carnegie Museums since 1992 and last year joined the Patrons Circle. Besides free admission, the benefits they enjoy most are member previews and the ability to bring family and friends to the museums as their guests. Recently, they attended their first Patrons Circle Dinner, which featured writer and historian David McCullough. The Science Center, however, is the main attraction.

“We’re big Science Center people,” says Jill.  “The children love it. They learn a lot of things, but they don’t even realize it because they’re having so much fun. Then down the road, they’ll make a reference or a connection to something they learned.”  Adds Craig, “I think it’s great that there is a place you can take kids that they’ll enjoy but is also non-threatening and educational. They have as much fun at the Science Center as they do at any arcade.”

When asked why they increased their support to the Patrons level, Craig says “Because we can and I think we should.  It’s in our personal and business interests to see the cultural life of this region maintained and developed. You look at a town like Houston, with three times the population, and I think we have much more than they do. We feel proud to bring people into Pittsburgh.”

Giving Made Easy

Ways to meet personal, business, or tax needs, in addition to supporting the work of the museums.

Any Bonds Today?
Any bonds of freedom, that’s what I’m sellin'  This refrain from Irving Berlin’s 1941 song is familiar to anyone who remembers World War II.  Thousands of Americans responded to the appeal by buying Series E U.S. savings bonds to help the war effort.  In later years, the Payroll Savings Program simplified the purchase of countless Series E and EE bonds, many of which were later exchanged for Series HH bonds.

These savings bonds, bought for patriotic or prudent reasons, can be ticking time bombs in the estates of the holders. The accrued interest on the bonds, most of which were purchased for half of their face value, is taxable income, and the tax comes due immediately upon any redemption or transfer of the bonds.

If the holder dies before redeeming them, then, unlike most other estate assets, U.S. savings bonds are subject to income tax in addition to estate and inheritance taxes. Combined taxes can total over seventy-five percent of the value of the bonds, leaving only about twenty-five cents on the dollar for individual heirs receiving the bonds.

The only way to avoid this double taxation is to bequeath the bonds to a tax-exempt charity like Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, which would receive the full value of the bonds, without any reduction for estate or income taxes.  Note that a lifetime gift of bonds to a charity is treated the same, for tax purposes, as a lifetime gift or a bequest to an individual – the accrued interest is subject to income tax.

Bequeathing savings bonds to a charity and making cash bequests to individual heirs, rather than vice versa, effectively increases the amount going to individual heirs rather than the government, because cash bequests are not subject to income tax.   For further information on how your U.S. savings bonds can be used to support the work of Carnegie Museums, please call Sally Davoren, (412) 578-2478.


Back Issues
Copyright (c) 1999 CARNEGIE magazine 
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E-mail:   carnegiemag@carnegiemuseums.org