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Recent Deaths in the Arts

posted by Christopher Howard — Jun 18, 2013

In its regular roundup of obituaries, CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, designers, scholars, professors, museum directors, and others whose work has significantly influenced the visual arts. Notable deaths this month include the former Guggenheim Museum director Thomas M. Messer and a dealer, curator, and publisher of Conceptual art, Seth Siegelaub.

  • Cerna “Chickie” Alter, a corporate art consultant who established her Chicago-area business in the 1960s, died on May 10, 2013. She was 74
  • Ralph Brown, a British sculptor of figurative works in clay, plaster, metal, and marble, died on April 3, 2013, at age 84
  • Anne Bryan, an artist and a student of painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, died on June 5, 2013. She was 24 years old
  • William T. Cartwright, a documentary filmmaker and producer who bought and preserved the Watts Towers in Los Angeles, died on June 1, 2013. He was 92
  • Roberto Chabet, a curator and the founding director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines who taught for more than thirty years in the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, died on April 30, 2013. Known as the father of conceptual art in his country, he was 76 years old
  • Niels Diffrient, an industrial designer who worked on the Princess telephone, John Deere tractor seats, the Polaroid SX-70 camera, and American Airlines jet interiors, died on June 8, 2013, at age 84
  • Bruce Evans, a curator and museum director who worked at the Dayton Art Institute from 1965 to 1991, died on May 14, 2013, at 72. He also led the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, and served as president of the Association of Art Museum Directors
  • Dawn Glanz, a historian of American and European art who taught in the School of Art at Bowling Green State University for twenty-five years, passed away on May 9, 2013. She was 66
  • Michael Harrison, head of fine art at Winchester School of Art and director of Kettle’s Yard, a contemporary-art center in Cambridge, England, from 1992 to 2011, died on April 25, 2013. He was 65
  • Ray Harryhausen, an influential stop-motion animator for films such as Mighty Joe Young (1949), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), One Million Years BC (1966), and Clash of the Titans (1981), passed away on May 7, 2013. He was 92
  • Jimmy Jalapeeno, a painter and photographer based in Texas who earned two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, died on May 22, 2013. He was 66 years old
  • Farideh Lashai, an Iranian painter of gestural abstractions and the author of a compelling autobiographical novel called Shal Bamu (2003), died on February 24, 2013, at age 68
  • Lee Littlefield, a Houston-based artist known for his “Pop-Up” sculptural works alongside Interstate 10 in Texas, died on June 9, 2013. He was 77 years old
  • Mollie Lyman, a professor of art who taught in the Art Department at Emory University for over thirty years as well as at the Atlanta College of Art, passed away on April 13, 2013. She was 87
  • Kim Merker, a designer, typesetter, and printer of hand-pressed books of poetry, died on April 28, 2013, at age 81. He founded Stone Wall Press in 1957 and the Windhover Press at the University of Iowa ten years later
  • Thomas M. Messer, a director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from 1961 to 1988 who oversaw the acquisition of the Thannhauser Collection and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, died on May 15, 2013, at the age of 93
  • Wayne F. Miller, a photographer who documented the Second World War for the US Navy and captured the experiences of black residents living on the South Side of Chicago, died on May 22, 2013. He was 94
  • Otto Muehl, a controversial Austrian artist, died on May 26, 2013, at age 87. With several others, Muehl founded Viennese Actionism in the early 1960s
  • Angela Paterakis, a professor of art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for nearly fifty years, died on May 19, 2013. She was 80 years old
  • William Plunkett, a British designer and manufacturer of modern furniture, died on May 5, 2013. He was 84
  • Richard Rousseau, the founder and owner of Artist Hardware, a design and development firm, and a former product manager at Blick Art Materials, passed away on May 31, 2013. He was 46 years old
  • Dale R. Roylance, a curator at Princeton University who organized more than one hundred exhibitions in the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library, died on May 19, 2013, age 88. Roylance also served as curator of the arts of the book at Yale University’s Sterling Memorial Library
  • Betty Rogers Rubenstein, an art historian and a former art critic for the Tallahassee Democrat, passed away on May 19, 2013. She was 92
  • Elizabeth Foster Schoyer, a former member of the Women’s Committee at the Carnegie Museum of Art and a longtime museum docent, died on June 10, 2013. She was 94
  • Seth Siegelaub, an adventurous dealer of Conceptual art, a producer and publisher of artists’ projects, and an expert in textiles, died on June 15, 2013, at the age of 71
  • Vollis Simpson, a self-taught artist based in North Carolina who created large sculptural works called whirligigs with materials from junkyards, passed away on May 31, 2013. He was 94
  • Willi Sitte, an East German artist who worked in a Social Realist style, died on June 8, 2013, at age 92. Sitte served as president of his former country’s association of visual artists from 1974 to 1988
  • Dorothea Wight, an artist, printmaker, and teacher who operated Studio Prints, an intaglio workshop in London, died on May 23, 2013. She was 68

Read all past obituaries in the arts in CAA News, which include special texts written for CAA. Please send links to published obituaries, or your completed texts, to Christopher Howard, CAA managing editor, for the next list.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News