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The Bendann Family Professorship


BendannFamilyMembers of the BENDANN FAMILY are historically humanitarians. Dating back to the Civil War, Daniel and David Bendann saw the need to photograph soldiers both for military records and their families. After the war, they opened an art gallery in New York; eventually, they moved to Baltimore and split the business. Daniel remained focused on photography, and David opened the Bendann Art Galleries. His son Maurice took over the art gallery with his brother Laurence. Maurice married Violet S. Mansbach in 1915.

After retiring from the art gallery in 1939, Maurice Bendann advocated a plan in 1940 to save Baltimore from “drying out of the center.” He proposed that the State Legislature allow privately financed organizations to acquire blighted city blocks. The organizations could then renovate the blocks and bring new life to the center of the city. As a result, Mount Vernon Place and its surrounding blocks have remained “the most beautiful square in any city in the country.”

Maurice and Violet Bendann were also generous friends of the Johns Hopkins University, especially dedicated to supporting the Wilmer Eye Institute. Maurice Bendann died in 1969, directing much of his estate to the Wilmer Institute. Constance Bendann, Violet and Maurice’s daughter, was a Baltimore art connoisseur and owned art galleries in Baltimore and New York.

Constance Bendann was an active member of the auxiliary of the Women’s Board at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was also a member of the Wilmer Advisory Council.

The Wilmer Eye Institute is grateful to the Bendann Family for their generosity and for supporting our mission of changing the way the world sees.