Since its dedication in 2002, the Applebee Gallery, housed in the Putnam Springer Center, has been and continues to be a wonderful venue for art that is deeply rooted in education and has served as an exquisite backdrop for contemporary art, historical works of importance from the MacMurray College collection, and the engaging works of MacMurray students.
Mrs. Elizabeth “Betty” Forrer Applebee ’40 for whom the gallery is named, has a connection to MacMurray College that continues to this day. Mrs. Applebee attended MacMurray her freshman year and continued on to receive degrees from both Northwestern University and Columbia. Her late husband, Mr. A. Wadsworth “Watty” Applebee, served as an esteemed trustee to MacMurray College while creating their family that consists of four children – Betsy, Eleanor, Alan, and Andrew. Alan W. Applebee also served on the Board of Trustees of MacMurray College.
The Putnam Springer Center has been home to the art department of MacMurray College for nearly ten years due to the extreme generosity of Irene Jones Wilkins Putnam ’31 who made a major contribution to the building that holds her name. Ms. Putnam’s gift, along with the gifts of many families and alumni that have blossomed in part due to their MacMurray education, provided our college with fantastic facilities to educate our students and promote the arts in the Jacksonville community.