The HERALD Sharon, PA published Friday, August 30,1996
Buhl Day '96


Winner is planning museums in 2 State Street houses

By Shawn M. Starkey
Herald Staff Writer

By the end of this year, businessman James E. Winner Jr. hopes people will be able to come to Sharon to see the works of master artists such as Michelangelo and Van Gogh.

Winner Thursday said he plans to open museums featuring reproductions of famous sculptures and oil paintings in the two East State Street houses he and his wife, Donna, bought in March from the estate of the late Eleanore Thorp Whitla.

In the woodframe Victorian home at 381 E. State _ which had housed Dwelling Place, A House of Prayer _ Winner plans to keep reproductions of 11 sculptures including Italian sculptor Michelangelo's ``David.''

Winner said he's having reproductions of the marble sculptures made in silver-plated bronze.

The brick house at 395 E. State, in which Mrs. Whitla had lived, will be home to 100 oil paintings.

``I chose 10 of the world's most famous artists that had done work in oil paintings. From those, we chose 10 of their most recognized works,'' Winner said. ``We literally searched the world over to find who we felt could replicate those best.''

The reproductions will include Rembrandt's ``The Nightwatch'' and Whistler's ``Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1: Portrait of the Artist's Mother'' and works by French Impressionists such as Van Gogh and Renoir.

Most of the paintings will be reproduced to their original size and framing except for ``The Nightwatch,'' which Winner said had to be done in three-quarter size to fit the room.

There will be an admission charge for the museums, Winner said, explaining he likes the idea of people being able to come to Sharon to see all the master works in one place.

The businessman himself said he's seen most of the originals in his international travels.

Winner is chairman of Winner International Corp., the Sharon-based marketer of The Club line of anti-theft devices.

The Winners bought the four parcels of land and two homes for $135,000. The parcels, across from the Buhl Mansion, stretch from East State to Silver Street and are between Forker Apartments and Knights of Columbus Council 684.

Winner hopes to open the museums this year, but said the opening be as late as the end of the first quarter of 1997.

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Updated August 30, 1996