CAA News Today

Recent Deaths in the Arts

posted by Christopher Howard — May 30, 2012

In its monthly roundup of obituaries, CAA recognizes the lives and achievements of the following artists, curators, designers, photographers, filmmakers, and other men and women whose work has had a significant impact on the visual arts. This month was marked by the loss of the avant-garde film historian and exhibitor Amos Vogel and the Swiss artist David Weiss.

  • Anne Burkhardt, a professor of philosophy at Bennington College in Vermont and a long-time associate of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Darwin Correspondence Project, passed away on March 11, 2012. She was 96 years old. Burkhardt was married to Frederick Burkhardt, ACLS president emeritus, who first established the Darwin project in 1974 as a means to collect all letters by and to Charles Darwin
  • Royal Cloyd, the founding director of the Boston Center for the Arts, passed away on February 23, 2012, at the age of 86. In the 1960s Cloyd saw immense potential in the industrial neighborhood of Boston’s South End, defying popular opinion that the area was unsafe by persuading the city to purchase and renovate a series of buildings, including the landmark Cyclorama
  • David Hillman Curtis, a pioneer of web design, a filmmaker, and a former rock-and-roll musician, died on April 18, 2012, at age 51. In the mid-1990s in San Francisco, Curtis mastered the new Flash technology, which enabled websites to display high-quality animation. He became a technology guru for many and wrote a best-selling book on media design. Curtis’s latest project was a feature-length documentary film on the musician David Byrne, called Ride, Rise, Roar
  • Judy Egerton, an Australian-born scholar and curator of eighteenth-century British art, died on March 21, 2012, at the age of 83. In 1974 Egerton became the assistant keeper in the Historic British Department at Tate Gallery in London, where she organized the exhibition George Stubbs: Anatomist and Animal Painter (1976). She put together many popular shows at her museum, wrote catalogue essays, and completed a new edition of the catalogue for the National Gallery in London
  • Denise Gray, a photographer who captured the people and events of Atlanta, Georgia, died on April 22, 2012. She was 54 years old. Gray was a high-spirited individual who worked hard to make her passion for photography into a career. She didn’t have a permanent studio, instead preferring to work on location
  • Al Hurwitz, chair and graduate director of art education at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, passed away on March 24, 2012, at the age of 91. Hurwitz had also served as president of the National Art Education Association and frequently lectured on art education across the United States and abroad
  • Jean Laplanche, a French psychoanalyst, theorist, and translator of works by Sigmund Freud, died on May 6, 2012, at the age of 87. Laplanche studied under Gaston Bachelard and Maurice Merleau-Ponty at the École Normale Supérieure and later cofounded the Psychoanalytic Association of France in 1964. His best-known work, a revision of Freud’s seduction theory, was published in 1987
  • Louis le Brocquy, an Irish painter and tapestry designer who created his own place within the modernist idiom of Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti, died on April 25, 2012, at the age of 95. Le Brocquy painted portraits of Irish literati such as Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, W. B. Yeats, and Samuel Beckett. The artist described his working process as: “I try to paint the head image from the ‘inside out’ as it were, working in layers or planes, implying a certain flickering transparency“
  • Herbert C. Lee, a prominent Boston arts patron and philanthropist, died on April 4, 2012. He was 97 years old. Lee and his wife Micki were long-time supporters of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Harvard Art Museums, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, and the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Margaret Cassidy Manship, a sculptor, art teacher, and archivist passed away on February 13, 2012, at age 91. The free-spirited daughter of an artist mother, Manship won a scholarship to Italy that led to an apprenticeship working for the master sculptor Antonio Berti in the Vatican. Manship and her husband, the artist John Manship, had lived and worked in Maine, Vermont, and New York
  • Jackie McAllister, a Scottish curator, artist, and writer living in New York, died on April 28, 2012. He was 49 years old. In the early 1990s McAllister was vice president of the cutting-edge SoHo gallery American Fine Arts, which put him at the forefront of the city’s art scene. In 2011 McAllister created an artwork comprising Lego pieces for the exhibition An Exchange with Sol LeWitt at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Norman Richard “Rick“ Pope, a ceramist and professor of art for thirty years in the School of Art at Montana State University, died on March 19, 2012. He was 70 years old. Born in Oklahoma, Pope has seen his work collected by the Archie Bray Foundation and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow
  • Robert Raymond, a photographer and videographer who worked as a television broadcast engineer, passed away on February 27, 2012, at age 59. Raymond was an assistant director for the Boston Film/Video Foundation and worked with his wife in the Mobius Artists Group
  • Amos Vogel, the last “lion of cinema” according to Werner Herzog, passed away on April 24, 2012, at the age of 91. A Viennese refugee, Vogel came to New York in 1938 and established an avant-garde film society, Cinema 16, with his wife Marcia. Based on the European model of a ciné-club, Cinema 16 debuted the work of Maya Deren and Stan Brakhage. Vogel also helped found the New York Film Festival and wrote Film as Subversive Art (1974)
  • David Weiss, a Swiss artist and half of the Fischli and Weiss partnership, passed away on April 27, 2012, at the age of 66. Weiss was living a nomadic, free-spirited life in Europe before meeting the artist Peter Fischli in the late 1970s. The duo captured the imagination of the art world and beyond with the film The Way Things Go (1987), an ode to the joy of art production, and with Visible World (1987–2001), a table display of images of the sacred, profane, and everything in between

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


Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News