Marguerite McBey and the Creation of the Tangier American Legation Museum

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Legation Museum owes much of its existence to the vision and generosity of one of Tangier’s truly grand women: Marguerite McBey, née Loeb, daughter of Philadelphia and forever a guardian of Tangier. In a richly fascinating obituary of Marguerite McBey in the Guardian, we learn of her love affairs of the 1920’s, her marriage to Scottish artist James McBey in the 1930’s and her personal artistic journey as a watercolorist artist and cultural philanthropist in Tangier, her adopted home, following James’ death in 1959 until her own passing in 1999. An instrumental actor supporting the lobbying campaign to save the Legation property from being sold in 1976, Marguerite McBey not only helped create the Tangier Legation Museum, but her generous donations of artwork by her husband and by 20th century Moroccan and Tangier-based expatriate artists also helped form the core of our museum’s art collection today. Likewise, her gift of her large book collection about Morocco and Tangier today form an important part of our Research Library.