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 Ilse Bechhold Getz  (1917 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/New York / Germany      Known for: Assemblage-collage, abstraction

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Gibson Danes, Dean, 81, and Ilse Getz, Artist, 75

Obituary. The New York Times, December 07, 1992

By Eric Pace

Gibson A. Danes, a former dean of the Yale School of Art and Architecture, and his wife, Ilse Getz, an artist, were found dead on Friday at their home in Litchfield, Conn., a Connecticut State Police official said yesterday. Mr. Danes was 81 years old, Ms. Getz 75.

The official, J. A. Thulin, a civilian dispatcher at the headquarters of Connecticut State Police Troop L in Litchfield, said that the State Police Major Crime Squad was investigating the deaths and that the couple's bodies had been found in their car, which was parked in their garage.

Ms. Thulin said an autopsy had shown that the deaths had been caused by "acute carbon monoxide toxicity" and that Ms. Getz had been suffering from advanced Alzheimer's disease.  She said that Ms. Getz's death had been determined to be a homicide and Mr. Danes's a suicide, and that no evidence of any involvement by others had been found.

A son of Mr. Danes, Mark Gibson Danes of Bronxville, N.Y., said that the couple died on Friday.  He said his father had taken a "carefully considered course of action" after "exhausting all possibilities and options available to him."

"This was a very courageous decision that was not made easily," Mark Danes said. "It was made to provide for the most dignified departure."

Ms. Thulin said the bodies were found when the State Police, acting on a request from relatives, checked the house on Friday evening.

Mr. Danes headed the Yale School of Art and Architecture from 1958 to 1968 and was dean of visual arts at the State University College at Purchase, N.Y., from 1968 until he retired in 1978.

He was born in Starbuck, Wash., and grew up in various towns in Washington State.  He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and at Northwestern University and earned a doctorate in art history from Yale in 1948.  He then taught at Yale and elsewhere before becoming chairman of the art department at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1952.

Over the years he received fellowships from the Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations and from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Mr. Danes was a co-author of "Looking at Modern Painting" (1957).  Articles he wrote appeared in a variety of journals and magazines.

In 1939 he married Claire Tomowske, who died in 1953.  The next year he married Joan P. Dewan, who died in 1964. He and Ms. Getz were married in 1964.

In addition to Mark Danes, a son from his second marriage, Mr. Danes is survived by a son from his first marriage, Christopher, of Manhattan, and two grandchildren.

Ilse Getz was a painter and collage artist who also made three-dimensional works, mostly with found objects.  Ms. Getz, whose maiden name was Bechhold, was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and came to the United States in 1933 as a teen-ager fleeing Nazism.  She studied at the Art Students League in New York.

The many exhibitions of her work over the years included shows at the Museum of Fine Arts in Phoenix in 1964, the Neuberger Museum in Purchase in 1978, the Kunsthalle in Nuremberg in 1978 and the Alex Rosenberg Gallery in Manhattan in 1981.

Stuart Preston, writing in The New York Times in 1959, described her oils in a show at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery on East 57th Street in Manhattan as "composed of a variety of 'incidents,' painted in alert fashion."  He reported that "bouncing shapes leap vigorously about, covering the canvas with lively marks that make for general vitality."

Ms. Getz also designed the backdrop for the 1960 production of Ionesco's play "The Killer" at the Seven Arts Theater in Manhattan.  The backdrop is now in the collection of the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College.

Other museums that own works by her include the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, the Kunsthalle and the Tel Aviv Museum in Israel.

Ms. Getz's 1937 marriage to David Getz ended in divorce, as did her 1958 marriage to Manoucher Yektai.

Her survivors include a daughter from her first marriage, Pat Getz-Preziosi of New Haven, an art historian specializing in prehistoric Aegean art; two sisters, Masha Bechhold of Nantucket, Mass., and Irma May of Losone, Switzerland, and two grandchildren.

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