Remembering Alex Booth


Alex Booth Jr. breaks ground for a major addition
 to Huntington Galleries on Aug. 17, 1968.

Courtesy of the Huntington Museum of Art


Alex E. Booth Jr., who died in 2017, was born in Kenova in 1925, the only son of
Alex Sr. and Roxanna Booth. As a youngster, he helped his parents with the
 family business — Dreamland Pool. Dreamland gave way to a family
 coal business while Alex pursued his education, first at West Point,
 then at the University of Chicago. Learning his father was ill,
 he came home to help his mother run the coal business.
By the time he turned 25, they had turned it
into a multi-million-dollar enterprise.

As a young man, Booth vowed he would take half of his wealth and use
it to do good. He more than honored that pledge. He generously
supported the Presbyterian Church by building the First
Presbyterian Church in Kenova and funding the
church’s mission work. He frequently visited
 Africa and built more than 20,000
churches there. A foundation
he created will build
 thousands more.

 Knowing the importance of higher education, he funded
thousands of scholarships for students in West Virginia
and Florida, where he took up residence.

In the early 1960s, Booth joined the Board of Trustees at Huntington
 Galleries (later renamed the Huntington Museum of Art) and went
 on to become a generous benefactor to the museum, helping it
 develop an impressive collection of contemporary art.
When the National Endowment for the Arts awarded
the museum with grants for purchasing contemporary
art, it was Booth who supplied the matching
funds that were needed.

Now on exhibit at the museum is a collection of the
contemporary art that Alex Booth enabled it to
acquire. The exhibit continues
 through Dec. 3.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Nov. 14, 2023.


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