Mount Mary University Digital Collections

Peg Bradley

Peg Bradley_Pro Urbe_undated.tif
Peg Bradley (woman on the right) at Pro Urbe Civic Awards Dinner at Mount Mary College (ca. 1966)
Source: Mount Mary University Archives
Margaret “Peg” Bradley (1894-1978) was a native Milwaukeean, a local philanthropist, and a nationally known collector of modern art. Born Margaret Blakney, she graduated from National Park Seminary in Maryland in 1914, married Dwight Sullivan, and had a daughter, Margaret Jane (later known as Jane), in 1918. After she and Sullivan divorced, she married Harry Lynde Bradley, a co-founder with his brother Lynde Bradley of the Allen-Bradley Company and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, in April 1926.
Pro Urbe Award program_1966_front.tiff
1966 Pro Urbe Civic Awards Dinner program (when Peg Bradley received the Pro Urbe Medal)
Source: Mount Mary University Archives
Peg Bradley purchased clothes from Zita, a specialty dress store established by Gertrude Lee in the 1920s that sold fashionable women’s apparel. She started working there after the financial crash of 1929 to pay off her bill at the shop and continued doing so after her account was cleared, becoming the general manager in the 1940s, purchasing the store in 1949, and ultimately expanding it to four locations. While traveling to New York and other major cities as a buyer, she began collecting art, and in 1975 she donated her substantial collection of modern art to the Milwaukee Art Museum. At Zita she merged fashion and art, displaying artwork in her office and developing a sense of color that served her in both worlds.
Peg Bradley was well known in Milwaukee for her substantial philanthropic efforts and her support of the arts. Among many other awards, in 1966 she received the Pro Urbe Medal from Mary Mount College for her numerous contributions to the community. She died in Florida in 1978.