Birmingham Museum of Art: How has the cultural climate changed in Birmingham since moving back?
Edgar Marx: There has been a growing interest in arts and culture in the city since the 1990s. We have seen a variety of programs for junior patrons formed across the community, which reflects the successful engagement of young professionals. This, along with the emergence of a creative food culture and the continued development of visual and performing arts, has helped Birmingham evolve into a robust, engaging community for both its long-time residents and tomorrow’s workforce.
BMA: You’ve been involved with the Museum in some capacity for more than 20 years. How has your involvement evolved?
EM: When I returned from school, I joined the Museum as a junior patron, where I enjoyed many fun and rewarding years. During this time, I was able to explore the Museum’s different collections, which led me to join the Collectors Circle for Contemporary Art, and later, the European Art Society. Along the way, I had the opportunity to serve as a Museum trustee, and today, I am a member of the Birmingham Museum of Art Foundation.
Why is it important to support the arts and community?
EM: From my experience, many successful cities enjoy vibrant cultural landscapes. It is meaningful to operate our business in a place that engages its citizens in a variety of ways, and the arts are a wonderful way to invite others into the community and showcase our city’s rich culture. Marx Brothers has thrived as a family-owned business in Birmingham for almost a century.
What do you attribute to your success on a global scale?
EM: Marx Brothers operates in a small, niche segment of a very large food industry. We have been fortunate to have great supplier-partners, a loyal, long-serving group of associates, and the opportunity to take care of customers focused on quality and service.
What’s next for Marx Brothers, Inc.?
EM: Like others, the food manufacturing and retail grocery industries are evolving rapidly. As coconut products are becoming more popular, we are working to meet the increased demand, while investing in new packaging formats and product lines to continue our growth and development.
If you could meet any artist, living or dead, who would it be? What would you ask them?
EM: I would like to meet Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The scale and impact of their site-specific works are simply amazing. It would be interesting to know what they have learned about the different communities around the globe after working among them for over five decades.