Volume 8, Number 3, Sept. 1986, p.7

Memorial: David Kolch, 1944-1986

by Victoria Blyth-Hill

David Kolch died in Chicago on June 2, 1986. His ashes will be buried in Minetto, New York and Florence, Italy. While earning a Masters Degree in Art History from Syracuse University (1973), David spent several years in Florence working with fresco paintings and participating in the post-flood effort. In 1974, he began an apprenticeship at the Fogg Art Museum, receiving his Certificate in Conservation in 1977.

Interrupting his work as Museum Conservator for the Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, CT from 1977-1981, he served as Temporary Associate Conservator of Paintings at the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT in 1980. In 1981, David moved to Los Angeles to become the Paintings Conservator for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. To mention only a few of his projects, he worked on such noteworthy exhibitions as the French Impressionist "A Day in the Country" and also contributed research to the field on "Materials and Techniques in an Unfinished Altarpiece by Rosso Fiorentino" (AIC Annual Meeting 1983). In 1985, David moved to Chicago to become the Paintings Conservator for the Art Institute of Chicago.

David touched many of our lives and hearts during his short, but full lifetime. He contributed not only to the field of conservation but enriched the lives of all who came to know him. An artist in his own right, the holiday season never failed to inspire him to communicate a seasonal greeting through his beautifully collaged artworks. Wherever he made his home, David set aside a "studio" space, reserved to create and view his work. If you weren't aware of him as a conservation professional, one would think he was an artist, historian and collector first, judging by his knowledge, enthusiasm and gift of appreciation for the arts. His talent and interests didn't stop there, he was also a gourmet chef and loved to entertain with luxurious dinner parties and lively conversation.

Many have lost David but many more will be denied the pleasure of having known him. In his dry humor as he was often heard to say on leaving the Museum at night, "I'm getting out of this Hell Hole," and he has, but far too soon.

Contributions can be sent to: David Kolch Memorial, Epigraphic Survey Oriental Institute, The University of Chicago, 1155 East street, Chicago, Illinois 60637.

Victoria Blyth Hill

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