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Subject: A death

A death

From: Margaret Holben Ellis <mhellis<-at->
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Helen K. Otis, Paper Conservator

Helen K. Otis, who for twelve years was in charge of the department
overseeing the conservation of works of art on paper at The
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, died on Tuesday, April
7, 2009 at her home in Portsmouth, NH.  She was 75 years old.  The
cause of death was metastatic breast cancer.

Ms. Otis was Chief Conservator of the Department of Conservation for
Works of Art on Paper at the Museum between 1984 and 1996. Her
department was responsible for the preservation, technical analysis,
and preparation for storage, exhibition and travel for all works on
paper in the Museum's permanent collection.  Ms. Otis became a
full-time member of the department of conservation at the Met in
1972.  Prior to that she held part-time museum positions in the
Islamic Department at the Museum, as well as at the Dance Collection
of the Lincoln Center Library/Museum of Performing Arts, and the
Mies van der Rohe Archives at The Museum of Modern Art.  Active
professionally and an early advocate for advanced conservation
education, Ms. Otis supervised numerous Interns and Fellows during
her tenure.  She was a Fellow of the American Institute for
Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

She was a graduate of Wellesley College, and received a Masters
Degree in Art History from Wayne State University, followed by an
advanced certificate in fine arts conservation from the Institute of
Fine Arts, New York University.

After residing in New York City for 35 years, Ms. Otis retired and
moved to Portsmouth in 1998.  In Portsmouth she served on the
acquisitions committee of Strawberry Banke Museum.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Lauren F. Otis, daughter
Climena L. Ots, sons Nathaniel D. Otis and Lauren H. Otis, and seven
grandchildren. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Ms. Otis'
name to the Wentworth-Gardner and Tobias Lear Houses in Portsmouth


                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:59
                 Distributed: Wednesday, April 15, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-59-001
Received on Wednesday, 15 April, 2009

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