The prominent Buffalo physician and medical researcher Dr. Julian Ambrus became the first recipient of the "Heart in Hand" Award, established by the Museum of European Art in Clarence.
The presentation of the award was made in the presence of the Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Herbert Hauptman and the inventor of the implantable pacemaker Dr. Wilson Greatbatch, who were joined by some 50 invited guests for the special ceremony. Recalling his young years, Dr. Hauptman expressed his gratitude to his parents who made it possible for him to get a good university education, which made all his later scientific successes possible. "Make an effort to get a good education, it is a basis on which you can build," encouraged the 80-year old scientist the young people in the audience.
The question of the importance of good education was also brought up by Dr. Wilson Greatbatch. He is the founder of Wilson Greatbatch Ltd., which now employs over 600 employees. "One of the benefits our emplyees get is free college education for them and for their children," said Greatbatch. "I have tried to encourage other business executives to give their employees this benefit, but as far as I know we are the only company in Western New York that does this. But it has been good for our employees, and also for the company," said the 78-year-old inventor who holds more than 150 patents.
The "Heart in Hand" Award was designed by the German sculptor Kurt Arentz, who was among the guests at the benefit dinner to support the work of the Museum of European Art. Kurt Arentz is no stranger to America; it was his fourt visit to the United States, and second to Clarence. Known in Europe as the "Presidential Sculptor," Kurt Arentz has created more than 100 bronze portrait-busts of the leading personalities of the 1980's and 1990's in Europe and America. Among them are busts of Herbert von Karajan, Karl Carstens, Ronald Reagan, Helmut Kohl, Sir Peter Ustinov, George Bush, and many others.
Arentz has also a keen interest in the ecological issues of our time. He has created the Ecological Eagle Award, which has been awarded annually in Europe to a public personality for their engagement to bring vital ecological issues to public's attention. Among the past recipients were Ronald Reagan, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Manfred Wörner, the Prince of Wales, and others.
"For the sculpture Heart in Hand I was inspired by the life work of Herbert Hauptman and Wilson Greatbatch," said the the 62-year old artist from Leverkusen. "They have both served with heart and hand to work for the benefit of others. They are examples that the young people can follow."
In presenting the Award to Dr. Ambrus, Consul John Zavrel, the founder of the Clarence Museum of European Art talked about some of the accomplishments of Dr. Ambrus, a native of Hungary. Active as an attending physician at 3 local hospitals, Dr. Ambrus serves as editor-in-chief of two medical journals and has published over 500 scientific publications dealing with various areas of medical research. Earlier this year, he received the G. Koepf Award of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Foundation. "We had a number of very good candidates for the Heart in Hand Award, and in Dr. Ambrus we have found all the qualities that we were looking for: and individual whose life work has contributed to helping others, to making the Buffalo area more known internationally, and someone who can serve as an example to the young generation. And of course, a person who has appreciation of fine art and culture. Dr. Ambrus was selected by the organizing committee to be the first recipient of the Heart in Hand Award."
The Museum, which opened in Clarence in July, 1994 is now in its third year of existence. "It certainly has been a challenge to keep the museum operating, given the current cultural niveau in America," said Zavrel. "But it is our belief in the young generation that keeps us going. As visitors come in and see our art collection, they are quite impressed and surprised to see such a fine collection in Clarence, rather than in New York City."
The proceeds of the benefit dinner which preceeded the ceremony will be used to support the work of the art museum. "The money we raised will go to start the first phase of the landscaping of the future Sculpture Garden, to be located directly behind the Museum", said Zavrel. "We still do not know from where or when the rest of the money to develop the Sculpture Garden will come, but we do want to make at least a small beginning next spring with the lanscaping. How fast things will go after that, we will have to see. We have an opportunity to develop this into something quite special, which would bring more visitors and art lovers to Clarence. But to succeed, we will need the support of some idealistic people who appreciate fine art."
The museum, located at 10545 Main Street in Clarence, is open Saturdays, 10-4 and for school groups also at other times by appointment. Anyone interested to help with the development of the Sculpture Garden should call John Zavrel at 847-2651.
May we recommend some books?
Living with the Himalayan Masters, by Swami Rama
Primer for Those Who Would Govern, by Hermann Oberth
Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer
Arno Breker: The Divine Beauty in Art, by B. John Zavrel
Mantra and Meditation, by Dr. Usharbudh Arya
Alexander the Great, by Robin Lane Fox