Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: A death

A death

From: Jane Sugarman <sugarmanj>
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2002
It is with deep sadness and a great sense of loss that we announce
the death of Christa M. Gaehde on April 3 at age 79.  When she
arrived from Germany in 1949, Christa brought an unusual richness of
training to the field of conservation. She had studied chemistry at
Innsbruck University in Austria before returning  to her native
Dresden, Germany, to study the chemistry of paper, inks, and colors
at the Technische Hochschule. Her European training also included
time spent working in the print room at the State Gallery in

When she came to the United States, she was one of only a handful of
people involved in the conservation of works on paper.  Through the
years this quiet woman's reputation grew as she applied her
expertise to works from large and small institutions, from
collectors and auction houses.  To those who were privileged to know
her, Christa's visual memory and encyclopedic knowledge of papers,
inks, and printing techniques was a marvel.

As a teacher, she exercised an uncanny ability to challenge and
instruct through just the right choice of projects.  As a
conservator, Christa was a model professional.  She was generous in
sharing information and insights and constantly curious about new
research and techniques. Just the week before she died (hit by a car
as she crossed the street), she was calling colleagues to learn the
fine points of  blotter washing.

She is survived by her husband Joachim, retired Professor of Art
History at Brandeis University, her sons Stephan and Nicholas, and
her 5 grandchildren, all living in the Boston area. Christa Gaehde's
life will be celebrated at a memorial gathering to be held on
Saturday, May 11 at 3 p.m in the Hall of the Busch Reisinger Museum
in Cambridge, MA.

Jane Sugarman

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:70
                  Distributed: Tuesday, April 16, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-70-001
Received on Tuesday, 16 April, 2002

[Search all CoOL documents]