Oprah’s Angels Donation Makes National News
We’re grateful, flattered and proud that Oprah Winfrey donated her now famous black angels collection to The Angel Museum. They’ve proven to be among our most popular collections. We’re frequently asked about them. When Oprah decided to donate her angel collection it made national news. We’ve too many clippings from across the U.S. then we’d be able to post here. You may have read about it in your own local paper..
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Nothing quite like a mention by Oprah Winfrey to open the flood gates. She had Cher on her show not too long ago and happened to mention that she loved angel statuettes but had a hard time finding black ones. Viewers responded with dozens and dozens of them — so many that Oprah finally pleaded with them to stop. Now she has announced that her collection of 571 black angels is going to Beloit, Wis., where plans are proceeding for an Angel Museum. Joyce Berg, whose original collection of 11,680 angels was the inspiration for the museum, said Winfrey’s donation will be a welcome addition. “It’s a very wonderful thing for us,” Berg said. “They will be special, definitely special. I imagine there’ll be some ones that are lovingly handcrafted.” The museum is expected to open later this year in a former Church.
Associated Press Beloit — For Oprah Windrey’s collection of 571 black angels, heaven is a place called Beloit. The popular television talk show host announced this week she was donating the collection to the city’s Angel Museum. Winfrey’s collection quickly grew after she told Cher during a show that the black angels were hard to find. She was inundated with so many that she soon pleaded with viewers to stop sending them. Joyce Berg, whose original collection of 11,680 angels was the inspiration for the museum, said Winfrey’s donation will be a welcome addition. “It’s a very wonderful thing for us,” Berg said. “They will be special, definitely special. I imagine there’ll be some ones that are lovingly handcrafted.” The museum itself will be housed in St. Paul’s Church, a former Roman Catholic church that is being remodeled. It has taken a long time. It’s a project being done largely by volunteers, “Berg said. “We hope to be done by fall.” The Angel Museum board has been working through former Beloit resident Ray Stanton, now of Chicago, to acquire Winfrey’s collection. “Oprah is very excited about having a home for her collection,” Stanton said. .
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Angels from Oprah Winfrey, famous Berg collection finds a home in Wisconsin
Tulsa World – Tulsa Oklahoma In addition to the Berg Collection, the new museum boasts almost 600 black angels donated by Oprah Winfrey. More than 2,000 people have visited the museum since it opened this spring. They have come from 28 states and eight different countries, says Nora Gard, the museum’s executive director. The Winfrey connection doesn’t hurt, Gard says, but the interest in the museum is fueled more by the popularity of angels in general. “There’s a growing curiosity in angels, and people want to know more,” Gard says. “Things like (TV’s) ‘Touched By An Angel’ feed into it, and with the coming of the new millennium, there is a heightened interest.” Some museum visitors have told Gard they were attracted by their Christian belief in angels as God’s messengers. Others have a New Age attraction to what they see as guardian spirits. “That passionate belief in the unknown is very strong out there, and people come for that reason,” Gard says. “The angels are sort of self-interpretive, depending on your background and beliefs.” The Berg angels range from fine art to whimsical, such as the winged pink poodle. Sometimes with wings and-or halos; sometimes without, and angels’ poses show them playing music, hugging or kissing and praying. “We never dreamed there were so many different ways that artists could depict angels,” Joyce Berg says. “It boggles the mind.” Fans and friends of TV talk show host Winfrey began sending her angels after she said on the air that she could not find any black angels. Winfrey’s angels vary in size, shape, color and materials. They are made of fabrics, porcelain, flowers, crystal, seeds and nuts, paper, glass, wood, shells, feathers, metal and resin. One of her donations is a satin and lace sachet angel sent by Jane Wannstedt, wife of Chicago Bears coach Dave Wannstedt. Another is of Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights figure who started the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott. Others illustrate themes of Christmas or Kwanzaa, the African-American holiday. All of the museum’s angels sit in oak display cases.The Berg Collection is grouped by defining factors, including media, season, occasion, purpose, origin and company. The collection includes angels made of fine porcelain, ceramic, acrylic, copper, glass, leather, corn husks, tree roots and spaghetti. Many of the angels are displayed according to the season they depict, including Christmas, Mother’s Day and other holidays. Other are arranged for the occasions they represent, such as a wedding or birthday. Angels made in Israel, Ireland, Italy and other countries share shelf space. Some of hte angels are displayed according to the well-know companies that produced them including Hummel, Precious Moments and Lenox. When visitors enter the gallery of The Angel Museum, they face a dramatic mural called “Heritage Angels.” Painted on the west wall, the circular work freatures four angels in motion. Janesville, Wis., artist Valerie Saxer-Rosenberg and Dan Bollweg’s mural reflects cultural diversity and unity, symbolizing Beloit’s immigrant and migrant labor heritage. Roman Inc. of Roselle, Ill., a premiere line of angel collectibles, and Mary E. Matthews, co-founder of the 1,500-plus member Angel Collectors Club of America, both hae singled out the Berg Collection as the largest privetely held collection in America and possibly the world. The Bergs began collecting angels in 1976 during a vacation in Florida. Now they hunt for angels everywhere they go, especially flea markets, estate sales and antique malls. Their collection — “12,031” and counting,” Berg says — includes pieces more than a century old. St. Paul, the historic church that houses the museum, sits on the Rock River in Beloit, near the Wisconsin-Illinois border northwest of Chicago. The building is made of brown brick, with a peaked roof, Roman arch, bell tower with parapet and high, round stained-glass windows. The Romanesque style is typical of churches in Italian villages. When St. Paul parish was closed in 1988, Beloit College bought the building and used it for storage. Beloit 2000, a private development group, bought the church for a plan to create Heritage Park, but when the building was not used, it was set for demolition. In December 1994, former parishioners persuaded the Beloit City Council that the church was a historic landmark worth preserving. St. Paul Inc., a not-for-profit organization established in June 1995, and the City of Beloit have a 10-year agreement for the site, which still is owned by the city.