Theme 1: Toledo In the World
Toledo has experienced an influx of international influences from residents who traveled abroad, embraced the cultures they experienced, and brought back with them global ideas. These international influences of Toledo residents have shaped the city in many rich and significant ways.
Edward Drummond Libbey and his wife, Florence Scott Libbey, are the best example of how travel abroad has improved the lives of all citizens of our city. In 1888, Libbey moved to Toledo from Massachusetts and established the Libbey Glass Company. From this one company, three others followed, making Toledo the Glass Capital of the World. Libbey used much of his vast fortune to found the Toledo Museum of Art in 1901. He and his wife began to travel the world purchasing art for the infant museum—so much so that in 1912 a new museum was built to house the expanding collection. Today, the Toledo Museum of Art has an international reputation, and Toledoans have a chance to appreciate art from everywhere in the world.
There are plenty of other examples of how the world shaped citizens of our city. Adam Grant used creative expression to help him survive years in German concentration camps, and after relocating to Toledo, produced beautiful works of art that inspired. Betty Mauk was influenced by frequent trips to France to try to develop Toledo’s riverfront like that of Paris. Today, we appreciate her effort to create Promenade Park. Ella P. Stewart took the ideas of peace and social justice from her life as an African-American, and spread those ideas to Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Ward and Mariam Canaday invested much of their fortune in restoring antiquities in Athens, Greece. But through their generosity, they befriended the King and Queen of that country, and hosted a visit by the royal couple in 1953 that allowed the city to show itself off to the world.
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