Laurie Schneider Adams, an art historian of the Italian Renaissance and editor-in-chief of Source, died on 19 June 2015, aged 73. Born in New York, Adams attended Tulane University, the Sorbonne and Columbia University, from which she gained her PhD in 1967. She taught first at John Jay College, City University of New York, and then at the school’s graduate centre, after which she was made a professor. Her particular approach was the application of psychoanalytic theory to art history. From 1984 until last year she was editor-in-chief of Source: Notes in the History of Art, a journal of the history of art.
Bruce Dayton, a US Midwest retailing tycoon and patron of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, died on 6 November 2015, aged 97. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dayton was the heir to his father’s and grandfather’s fortune, made in Dayton-Hudson Corporation department stores. He became the company’s treasurer in 1946 and by 1969 was its chief executive and chairman. He and his wife gave $80m in capital, endowment and acquisitions funds to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, along with 2,000 works by a wide range of artists, including the ancient Greek sculptor Polykleitos, Claude, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Kokoschka, Degas, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Sol LeWitt, Alice Neel, Robert Mapplethorpe, Larry Rivers and Jasper Johns. He served on the institute’s board for 73 years.
Willem, Baron van Dedem, a dealer in Dutch Old Masters and a former director of The European Fine Art Fair (Tefaf), died on 1 December 2015, aged 86. Descended from a family of Dutch businessmen and traders ennobled by Napoleon, Van Dedem made his wealth with his company Union Tank Eckstein (a road toll and fuel card business for international transport). His interest in art was sparked by the collection of his great-uncle, the shipping magnate Daniël George van Beuningen. Van Dedem built up an enormous collection of Dutch Old Masters over a 40-year period. During his lifetime he gave works to the National Gallery in London and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and key paintings have been promised to the National Gallery and the Mauritshuis in The Hague. Van Dedem became involved with Tefaf in the 1960s as a member of the board of trustees, and became president in 1997.
Brookie Maxwell, the artist, dealer and social activist, died on 4 November 2015, aged 59. Born in Manhattan, Maxwell was a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, New York. She also studied at the Institute of African Studies at Columbia and the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She first worked as a magazine illustrator and designer, and made murals and sculptures for the Bellevue Hospital, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In 1986 she founded the Creative Arts Workshops for children in New York’s welfare hotels and homeless shelters. In 1999 she opened Gallery 138 in Chelsea, New York, to help start the careers of young artists who otherwise would have had no commercial representation.
Holly Woodlawn, the transgender actress who starred in Andy Warhol’s films, died on 6 December, aged 69. Born Haroldo Santiago Franceschi Rodriguez Danhakl, Woodlawn left Puerto Rico aged 15 for New York, where she met Warhol in 1968. She starred in his movies Trash (1970) and Women in Revolt (1972). She was celebrated by the rock musician Lou Reed in the opening verse of his 1972 song Walk on the Wild Side, which mentions other stars of the Factory, such as Candy Darling, Joe Dallesandro, Jackie Curtis and Joe Campbell. After the attempted assassination of Warhol and the end of the Factory’s heady days, Woodlawn’s fame evaporated and she made her living in cabaret and marginal Warhol-related events.