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October Obituaries in the Arts

posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 12, 2010

CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, scholars, curators, architects, filmmakers, museum directors, and other important figures in the visual arts.

  • Ralph T. Coe, former director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and a collector and curator of Native American art, died on September 14, 2010, at the age of 81. Among his pioneering exhibitions are Sacred Circles: 2,000 Years of North American Indian Art (1976) and Lost and Found Traditions: Native American Art, 1965–1985 (1986)
  • Tony Curtis, an actor in such films as The Defiant Ones and Some Like It Hot who was also known for Surrealist-inspired paintings, died on September 29, 2010. He was 85
  • Robin Gibson, a curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London for his entire career, died on August 9, 2010, age 66. He established the museum’s photography department, focused on twentieth-century works, and even commissioned pieces for the collection, all while organizing exhibitions and authoring catalogues
  • Jill Johnston, a feminist, dance critic for the Village Voice, and author of Lesbian Nation, died on September 18, 2010, at the age of 81. She also contributed to Art in America and wrote the controversial book Jasper Johns: Privileged Information
  • Stephen Pace, a painter whose early work in the style of the New York School developed into expressionist-informed depictions of figures and landscapes, died on September 23, 2010, age 91. Emerging in the early 1950s in New York, he also taught art at Pratt Institute, Bard College, and American University
  • Arthur Penn, a movie, television, and stage director whose innovative 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde paved the way for the New American Cinema, died on September 28, 2010. He was 88
  • Rhonda Saad, an art historian and curator who was a doctoral student at Northwestern University, died on September 11, 2010, at the age of 31. The Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey, a CAA affiliated society for which she was treasurer, has established the Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Arab Art in her honor
  • Johannes Spalt, an Austrian architect who cofounded the group Arbeitsgruppe 4 that brought modernism to rural Austria, died on October 2, 2010. He was 90
  • Giorgio Torraca, a professor at the University of Rome La Sapienza and former deputy director of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, died on September 25, 2010. Born in 1927, he developed programs and courses on the conservation of masonry, mosaics, and earthen materials for nonscientists

Read all past obituaries in the arts on the CAA website.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News