2003 Jean Kroeber
2004 Eleanor Tyndall Meier
2005 Ruth B. Reiber
2006 Elaine Lavalle
2007 Lucille Berrill Paulsen
2008 Gaile Snow Gibbs
2009 Amy Bright Unfried
2010 Mary Maran
2011 Gabriela G. Delosso
2012 Gloria Spevacek
2013 Claudia Seymour
1979 Sally Swan Carr
1983 Diana Kan
1985 Carey Boone Nelson
1990 Adrienne Potter
1991 Marilyn Newmark
1993 Sybil D'Orsi
1994 Lucille Hampton
1995 Lucille Stillma
1997 Beverly Bender
1998 Mary Lou Ferbert
1999 Dorothy Dallas
2000 Virginia Abbot
2001 Francine “Franke” DeBevoise
2002 Inge Jannen Heus
JEAN TAYLOR KROEBER
January 7, 1929 – September 7, 2020
In the last three decades the 120 year old Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club devoted to promoting
the work of women artists has grown as an organization largely through the efforts of Jean Kroeber, president from 1995 - 1998 and Honored Member in 2003. Jean died September 7, 2020 while residing at her summer home in Hampton, NY. She had deeply touched the hearts of all those
who knew and served on the board with her.
Jean was born and grew up in New York City with her parents and siblings in an environment
of creativity and commitment to social progress. She attended the City and Country School,
progressive school in Greenwich Village which emphasizes “:learning by doing” It was here
that she was introduced to Ancient Greek art and also found the school’s clay room, both would
be the inspiration for her life as a sculptor. Friends Academy followed and in 1951 she graduated
from Harvard/Radcliffe with an AB in History.
As a young professional she worked as an editor in New York City while studying sculpture
at the Art Students League with Jose de Creeft. In 1953 she married Karl Kroeber, the brother
of her college friend, Ursula. Karl was a professor of Comparative Literature at the University
of Wisconsin where she then moved, their three children were born there. Jean’s interest
in sculpture revived in 1967 when the family went to Greece during Karl’s sabbatical. They visited the island of Paros, the site of marble quarries that had supplied the stone for many early Greek carvings. Jean came home with a small block of Parian marble. She was enthralled and inspired. As was her nature, she carefully researched the history and techniques of Ancient Greek sculpture. An exquisite head emerged from her efforts.
In 1970 the Kroeber family returned to New York City where Karl continued his career
at Columbia University and Jean established a sculpture studio in their Brooklyn home, later
a second studio at their summer home in Hampton, New York on the Vermont border. Their long marriage was characterized by a deep emotional bond and an intellectual partnership. For the next five decades, with energy and determination, practice and experimentation, she studied the history
of sculpture and acquired the technical skills needed to carve in both wood and stone. Many of her sculptures were exhibited in juried shows and galleries.
Jean took seriously the responsibilities of artistic community. In addition to her central affiliation with the CLWAC she was a long time artist member and exhibitor at the Salmagundi Club, the Allied Artists of America, Pen and Brush, the Southern Vermont Arts Center,
the Chaffee Center for the Arts in Rutland, VT and the Lower Adirondack Council of the Arts
in Glen Falls, NY.
Her work has a monolithic quality, a simplicity that recalls Classical and Romanesque carvings
with a feel for modernism that relates to the work of Maillol and Zorach. Jean, diminutive in size, giant of intellect created a body of work that had an elegant simplicity, rich in texture and deeply thoughtful. There was always a mood and a contemplative quality to these pieces.
After she was elected to membership in the CLWAC she served as Sculpture Chair for five years and then ascended to the presidency in 1995. In addition to the normal responsibilities of the president, she assumed the task of leading the Club’s Centennial Celebration Exhibition which
was a two year traveling exhibit of 100 juried two dimensional works that travelled from the
Broome Street Gallery in SoHo to museum and college galleries in the mid-west and the north east. This event put the Club on the national map.
Jean’s interest was always in preserving the Club’s rich history. She appointed a board member
to organize and store the Club’s archives and after her tenure as president ended she headed a committee to compile, organize, and work with the material that later would provide the frame work
for the Club’s “A Chronicle” a compendium of the Club’s history, presidents, Honorary Members, and award winners. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations. Also, she was always interested
in preserving the two medal and two sculpture awards presented at the Annual and the Members’ Exhibition each year in conjunction with cash awards. She quietly donated the cash to pay
for the production of these items for the next five years. As a permanent advisor she attended
most board meetings, her suggestions were always wise, thoughtful, and very quietly offered.
She mentored every subsequent Club president that served, helping to make their responsibilities
The Club will miss Jean; there will be no other quite like her.
Jean with “Sorelle”
In front of her Brooklyn Heights home.
At work on wood sculpture in Hampton, NY
Jean’s last work – September, 2020