2013 Annual Meeting and MV Medal
2013 Martha's Vineyard Medal Winners
The Murphy Family
Presented to Chris and Barbara Murphy, Introduced by Nancy Cole
Polly Woollcott Murphy was a long-time summer resident who moved to the Island after WWII with her husband Stan. She was an active leader in the local NAACP chapter, and in 1963 joined four other Vineyard women on a voter registration drive in North Carolina. Polly was also an inaugural member of the West Tisbury Conservation Commission. Stan Murphy was a well-respected and talented artist, often using Vineyard themes and capturing Island personalities with a realism that resonated with his subjects and collectors. He served on the Chilmark School Committee, and as an inaugural member of the West Tisbury Fire Department. Stan was an active collector of decoys and wrote the definitive sourcebook on Martha’s Vineyard decoys. Closest to home, Stan served as Vice President of the Historical Society, now the Museum, for two terms.
Polly and Stan’s oldest child, Chris, has been a fisherman based out of Chilmark for years. He joined the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in 2005, and was Vice Chairman and Chair for several years. Chris is a member of the Chilmark Zoning Board of Appeals, and also serves on the Board of the Farm Institute. For the past five years, Chris has been the volunteer captain of the Museum’s catboat Vanity. He guest curated a decoy exhibition, and is currently Chair of the Museum’s Programming Committee. Barbara Murphy, daughter of Mary and Bill Thomas of Oak bluffs, taught Spanish at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School for many years. Both were longtime members of the Historical Society, now the Museum, and very good friends of Henry Franklin Norton, the first curator. Earlier this year, Barbara was recognized as Volunteer of the Year from Elder Services for her work with the Meals on Wheels program. Barbara began volunteering at the Museum in 2005, and has been going through the photo collection to prepare it for its future digitalization.
Introduced by Dr. Gerry Yukevich
Olga Hirshhorn is among the most recognized art supporters on the Island. Experience working on building collections with her late husband, Dr. Joe Hirshhorn, the founding patron of The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., led to Olga’s artistic interests being broad and diversified. She has been a patron and promoter of many Island artists and organizations since the late 1980s. In 2001, Olga created the incredibly popular Chicken Alley Art Show, now held annually, to benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. She served on the Board of the Vineyard Playhouse for many years, is now an honorary board member, and had the “Olga Award” named after her. At age 93, she is a young, enthusiastic supporter of many non-profits.
Introduced by Vernon Jordan
Sheldon Hackney is Chair Emeritus of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and served as Chair during a critical time, when the Museum was acquiring its new Vineyard Haven property. During his Board tenure, Sheldon also led the Committee on Directors and the Development Committee. Sheldon’s reputation and experience nationally as a historian (Princeton), an educational administrator (President of Tulane and the University of Pennsylvania) and a humanist (Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities) have benefited the Island since he and his wife Lucy became seasonal residents in the early 1970s. Sheldon has been active at his two favorite Vineyard Haven institutions, serving on the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church and regularly leading programs at the Vineyard Haven Library. He also led discussions for two film series for the Museum on WWII and the Civil War. Sheldon and Lucy are also active in Martha’s Vineyard Community Services and the local NAACP. Both Hackneys were born and raised in the deep south, but have long called the Island home.