Categotry Archives: Education


J. Kirk Varnedoe


Categories: Artists, Education, Writers/Editors

kvarnedoe.jpgJ. Kirk Varnedoe, one of the most influential art curators in the world, died on Aug. 16 from colon cancer. He was 57.
Varnedoe graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art history from Williams College and a master’s from Stanford University. He received his doctorate at 26 when he turned in a catalog for a show he curated on Auguste Rodin as his dissertation.
While teaching at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 1988, Varnedoe was hired as the chief curator of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, a job that is considered to be one of the most important positions in the modern-art world. He was only 42 years old.
Varnedoe spent 14 years at MOMA, where he exhibited the work of Vincent Van Gogh, Paola Antonelli, Joshua Siegel, Jasper Johns and Jackson Pollack. He also published 18 books on art, including “Modern Contemporary: Art at MoMA Since 1980.”
In 2002, Varnedoe began teaching the history of art at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study. This past spring, he served as the Andrew W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Varnedoe was married to sculptor Elyn Zimmerman.


Herman Schneider


Categories: Education, Scientists, Writers/Editors

Herman Schneider liked to make science fun for kids to learn.
Schneider was a Polish immigrant who moved to New York City when he was a child. He started writing books in the 1940s, and eventually published 80 titles. His first was “The Harper Dictionary of Science in Everyday Language,” a collaboration with his brother Leo. He also wrote numerous science books with his wife Nina, including “Science Fun With Milk Cartons” and “How Scientists Find Out: About Matter, Time, Space and Energy.”
As a solo author, Schneider wrote explanatory texts like “Everyday Machines and How They Work” and “Everyday Weather and How It Works.” His 1978 book, “Laser Light,” was named the best science book for teenagers by the New York Academy of Sciences.
When he wasn’t writing, Schneider taught science classes in the New York City school system. He also consulted on 52 filmstrips with University Films, Inc.
Schneider died on July 31. Cause of death was not released. He was 98.


Frederick Robbins

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Categories: Education, Medicine, Scientists

Dr. Frederick Chapman Robbins, a Nobel Prize-winning pediatrician, died on Aug. 4 from congestive heart failure. He was 86.
Robbins earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Missouri and his medical degree from Harvard. He was appointed resident physician in bacteriology at The Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston until the start of World War II when he joined the Army Medical Corps. While stationed in North Africa and Italy, Robbins patched up wounded soldiers and conducted studies on hepatitis, typhus and Q fever. His efforts overseas earned him a Bronze Star.
After the war ended, Robbins returned to the states to finish his training in pediatrics. In 1948, he worked with the research division of the infectious diseases laboratory at Children’s Hospital. With the aid of Dr. John F. Enders and Dr. Thomas H. Weller, Robbins developed a way to grow the polio virus in tissue culture. This method aided in the creation of polio vaccines, and earned the three scientists the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1954.
Robbins mentored many doctors as a professor at Harvard and the Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and as the chief of pediatrics and contagious diseases at Cleveland City Hospital. In the 1980s, Robbins was elected president of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
Transcript of Robbins’ Nobel Lecture


Robert J. Donovan


Categories: Education, Media, Writers/Editors

Robert John Donovan, a veteran journalist and author, died on Aug. 8 from complications of a stroke. He was 90.
After graduating from high school, Donovan made $7 a week as a night copy boy for the Buffalo Courier Express. Four years later, he became a reporter for The New York Herald Tribune and covered city hall. During World War II, Donovan wrote for the armed services newspaper, Stars and Stripes, then went back to the Herald Tribune to report on national and political stories in Washington D.C. In 1963, Donovan was hired by the Los Angeles Times to man its Washington bureau.
Donovan covered five presidential administrations and broke many major news stories. He followed the 1948 Harry S. Truman-Thomas E. Dewey campaign, rode in the presidential motorcade in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and broke the story of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Vietnam in 1969 (his story was published before President Nixon had officially announced the event).
Donovan also wrote 13 books, including “PT-109,” a best-seller about President Kennedy’s war experiences. It was published in 1961 and made into a movie starring Cliff Robertson. Donovan’s memoir, “Boxing the Kangaroo,” was published in 2000.


Harold Altman


Categories: Artists, Education

haltman.jpgHarold Altman, an artist whose portraits and still life lithographs were displayed all over the world, died on July 28. Cause of death was not released. He was 79.
Altman studied at the Cooper Union Art School and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. Although he lived and worked in a 19th century frame church in central Pennsylvania, Altman spent at least four months a year doing etchings and paintings in France.
Altman’s work was featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. He had hundreds of one-man shows, and commissions of his artwork hang in the New York Hilton and the Galleria Prova in Tokyo.
Altman taught at Penn State University, and was the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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