The Redpath Museum lost a great friend and donor on July 30, 2017. What started with a small donation of about 200 shells in 1994 has grown into a permanent exhibit entitled "Conchologycitus - the Abe Levine Shells". Located on the second floor of the Redpath Museum it commemorates Abe Levine's life long passion and admiration to "the home wherein the Mollusc dwells".
The exhibit showcases over 2000 gem-quality shells donated by Quebec's premiere shell collector. According to Dr. Tony Ricciardi, the Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Redpath Museum, this collection is "one of the finest in the world" .
Abe Levine wrote this poem about his donation on his 80th birthday in 2004:
In nineteen hundred and seventy two, a shell collector I became. And since that time my life and home have never been the same. Many moments of my leisure time, I spend among my shells. As I study and admire the gorgeous homes, wherein the Mollusc dwells. Ever since I was a youngster, Redpath visits gave me pleasure, making them the logical recipients of my conchological treasure. In nineteen hundred and ninety four, I had to face the truth: That I had just turned seventy, and getting a little long in the tooth. Your shells you can't take with you and although it will break your heart. The logical conclusion is with your shells you must start to depart.
Since then I have made donations with pleasure as the number swells. The total of these donations are over seven thousand shells. McGill and Redpath have honoured me declaring this exhibit permanent. Therefore my shell collecting hobby represents time and money well spent. As this exhibit will be permanent my shells will no longer roam. They are resting in the shelter of their final Redpath home.
The Museum is proud to shelter and preserve this collection and fondly remembers Abe's unrelenting zeal and passion for living and learning.
Read more about Abe Levine's life here.