Anne Hillman

In this month of Thanksgiving, the Friends of the Snite Museum of Art are very pleased to introduce you to Founding Friends member, Anne Hillman! 

Anne (Mossberg) Hillman has spent a large portion of her life enjoying, promoting and supporting the arts and as a Founding Friends member we are honored to spend some time with her reminiscing about her early Snite memories and her current art interests and activity in the community.

Having attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, Anne majored in Political Science. Her late husband, Charles (who passed in 2012), also attended DePauw and majored in Economics. Together and throughout their 58-year marriage, Anne and Charles through both their personal lives and their printing and communications business, Mossberg & Company, Inc., demonstrated a remarkable impact within our South Bend community and the greater region. Today, Anne carries on their family legacy of progressive support and constructive influence. 

Charles and Anne Hillman

Anne recalled one of her earliest memories of the Snite, reflecting, “I think my earliest memory actually was of the first Christmas Benefit Dinner, and that was so very lovely. Pat Decio was the chair, and the table appointments were beautiful.  I believe we had appetizers in the O'Shaughnessy Gallery and then went into the Museum for dinner. Father Hesburgh was there, and it was not a really large crowd. Our table appointments included a beautiful little ceramic angel that Pat had as a favor for all of us. That angel remains, genuinely, one of my Christmas treasures ever since.”

Anne is very proud of the Friends’ impact over the years: “I'm so proud of being part of the Friends. Some Friends have served as docents, which I have not done, but I have several good friends who have. Hearing them talk about the joy it is for them to help children to open their eyes … to help them understand there's another world through art, and that they are eager to begin exploring it. I think the world is changed, in part because of the internet where we have access to so much more information and pictures of art. But, the personal experience of seeing art [in person] and its impact has not changed.”

Anne has participated in a variety of community service roles, ranging active civic leader, champion of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, service on the DePauw Board of Visitors, work and development with the South Bend Civic Theatre, The History Museum, REAL Services, the Junior League and supported programs like the Alcohol and Addictions Resource Center, and with the recent Studebaker Fountain restoration project. 

hillman art

Wondering about how art has directly affected her personal life in a question, Anne shared, “Well, it's not just seeing it. I have, over the course of the years, taken many lessons. I do like to watercolor. I've taken drawing. I'm not good at all, but it helped me grow in my appreciation and understanding. So, it's not just looking. It's training your eye to see what's there. Painting is hard work. The cartoons you see of them out in the field with a brush makes it look like they're just having a party. If you're really serious about it, it's hard work, but it's very rewarding. Mine isn’t anything I'm ever going to share with the world, but for me I enjoy it.”

Asked about a painting that hangs in her home that she and Charles enjoyed for many years, Anne shared, “It’s from out west. For several years after my husband retired, we wintered away and spent some of the winter in Scottsdale, Arizona, and one of my favorite places to go was Sedona. There was a gallery there from where we purchased several things that the metal sculpture out of front that's going around slowly now and two pieces of art by an artist named Lindburg. Charles just really liked that particular coyote painting, and we put it above his desk. It was very satisfying for him when he had to sit there and write checks and pay bills, and there was that coyote! Coyotes can be very, very still. I remember seeing one, obviously hunting for ducks or maybe a swan near a pond. You would be sure it was a cement statue! I mean you could stand there for five minutes and that coyote wouldn’t move.

Anne and her belated husband Charles’ interest and support also included the South Bend Civic Theatre. During the South Bend Civic Theatre’s closing performance of “Oliver!” this past summer, Anne’s 90th birthday was celebrated with an audience comprised of 200 of her loving friends and family members, and Anne was named a legendary CIVIC benefactor.

Juliane Morris, Friends Board of Director

November 2019