Elaine de Kooning

Areas of Achievement: 

Honored By

Honored by: de Kooning, Elaine
Date submitted: April 19, 2012
Gift: Engraved Paver, Large

Elaine de Kooning, born Elaine Fried in 1918, was one of the great artists of the 20th century. She married Willem de Kooning, one of the major figures among the abstract expressionists in the second half of that century, and became an important artist in her own right. Her vibrant work can be seen in many museums, galleries, and private collections. She is known especially for her incisive portraits, filled with unique gesture and movement, and for series such as her magnificent bulls. She also wrote about art and taught it at a number of universities. Many artists, in a variety of genres, considered her a mentor. Elaine died of lung cancer in 1989.

Of the many generous mentors I have been fortunate to have had in my long life, Elaine was the one who gave me the most. I am grateful every day for her friendship, example and encouragement. She helped everyone she knew to be the best they could be, and worked tirelessly to help them do so.