Sunday, December 27, 2009

Artists Who Passed in 2009

It's the end of the year and I started to remember some of the famous people who died this year. There were some big names of hugely famous people like: Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Walter Cronkite, Patrick Swayze, Ted Kennedy, Ed Mahon and David Carradine.

But I wanted to focus here on a few wonderful artists who have left behind some work which will live on forever. Artists like painter Andrew Wyeth, mixed media artist Janice Lowry, photographer Irving Penn and Jean Claude.

I leared about Janice Lowry from reading the blog by the publisher of Stampington magazines, Jenny Doh. Since I'm new to mixed media art, I missed many years of Janice's art being published in Jenny's magazines. Jenny Doh made a video in tribute to Janice and posted it on her blog. Click here to see it.

Janice wrote, painted and collaged art journals for the past 30 years. The Smithsonian has the entire 126 volume collection on file. These photo's are courtsey of an article about Janice published in The Smithsonian Magazine in October of this year. You can read it in it's entirety here. Janice kept a studio in Santa Ana, CA and primarily did assemblage. She was very much a part of the local art coummity and influenced many in the mixed media world. May she rest in peace in her giant art studio in the great beyond.

Janice Lowry's husband continues to update her blog, which you can view here.

A master of photography, Irving Penn also passed over this year. Maybe you don't know his name, but I bet you recognize a few of his photographs.

Irving Penn once said, "A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective." See more of his incredible photographs here.

Artist, Andrew Wyeth, was one of the best known painters of the mid 20th century. He was primarily known as a realist painter, doing portraits and landscapes. He was controversial doing this type of painting during a time when abstract painters were all the rage. Perhaps you heard of his famous "Helga" paintings.

You've probably heard of the environmental artist, Christo, but did you know his wife was his equal partner and created most of Christ's famous work right along with him? Jeanne-Claude was married to Christo soon after they met in 1958.  Wikipedia says,"The purpose of their art, they contend, is simply to create works of art or joy and beauty and to create new ways of seeing familiar landscapes."

I first became aware of their art from the Umbrella installation.

Here is, "The Gates," which was seen in Central Park in NYC in 2005.

Here is the,"Wrapped Fence," in Sonoma and Marin Counties, CA in 1972-1976.

Here are,"The Surrounded Islands," in Miami, FL in 1982.

But we also lost some great writers like: William Safire, Dominick Dunne, Marilyn French and John Updike. The music world lost folk singer Mary Travers, punk rocker Jim Carroll, jazz drummer Louie Bellson and guitarist Les Paul. In radio, Paul Harvey, died this year and in TV, Don Hewitt of "60 Minutes," fame, passed away.

                               Corazon Aquino

A few others include: Corazon Aquino, John Hughes, Marilyn Chambers, Horton Foote, Karl Malden, Henry Gibson, Bea Arthur, Natasha Richardson, Ron Silver, James Whitmore, Soupy Sales, Ricardo Montalban, Jennifer Jones, young Brittany Murphy and Roy Disney.

Bea Arthur

                                    Jennifer Jones
This listing is hardly a complete list and I apologize to anyone I offended by leaving out one of your favorite celebrities.

What are you leaving being after your death? How will you be remembered?


  1. Thank you for bringing these great people back into our thoughts.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to some talented people. What a loss for the arts.

    Jan in AZ

  3. Nina R.
    Thank you for this...Once again your profound insights leave me breathless...and a bit meloncoly(sorry...spelling looks wrong to me...)
    Loyal Listener, Lorelei

  4. I actually saw a Andrew Wyeth exhibit in L.A. many many years ago before I had any appreciation of art. The most amazing thing about his paintings was no matter how close I was to the painting you thought it was really what he was depicting. LIke a sweater, you swore it was there in front of you with all it's tecture, Or a tree, you wanted to touch the painting because you swore it was really the bark itself. Thank you for all the time it took to put this together!