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Mildred Schiff Lee

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Mildred Schiff Lee Obituary
LEE, Mildred Schiff "Micki" Both of Boston and Palm Beach enjoyed a long and remarkably productive life. She died on Thursday, May 7, 2009 at the age of 89. For 67 years the beloved wife of Herbert C. Lee. Devoted mother of Thomas Haskell Lee & Anne G. Tenenbaum of NYC, Richard Schiff Lee & Elizabeth Berardi of Martha's Vineyard and Jonathan Owen & Barbara C. Lee of Brookline. Loving grandmother of Zach, Robbie, Jesse, Nathan and Rosalie, Suzanna and Alex Lee. Dear sister of the late Saralynn Blatt, Herbert Schiff and Freddie Levin. Born in Columbus, Ohio, she graduated the University of Wisconsin in 1941. She married Herbert C. Lee in Richmond, Virginia on October 21, 1941. They moved to Boston in 1946 after the war where she began her active role in the arts community in Boston, both as a dealer and as a philanthropist and avid collector. She lived in Belmont for most of those years. Mrs. Lee was a Fellow at Brandeis University and began the Friends of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, where she worked tirelessly to assemble a highly acclaimed collection of contemporary art, paralleling the university's own history. Over the course of her involvement, she donated more than 500 works of art. Mrs. Lee was also a major supporter and honorary curator at the Fogg Museum at Harvard, a lifetime Overseer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, as well as a supporter of The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, where a gallery is named in her honor, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, and the Kravis Center, the Norton Art Museum and the Society of the Four Arts, all in Palm Beach. In the 1970's, she lectured in art history at Radcliffe and Wellesley Colleges and taught courses in art history at the Belmont Hill School in Belmont, MA. The devastating flood in Florence, Italy and environs in the late 1950's provided an outlet for her energies on the Committee to Rescue Italian Art. The waters had risen above the first floors of the countless libraries, churches, museums and the salvage and conservation work was enormous. She enlisted the help of Robert Rauschenberg who created a CRIA poster that sold in great numbers to raise funds for the massive salvage and conservation task that had to be undertaken. Another one of Micki's significant contributions to the arts was the result of the request by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) to sponsor an immigrant, Tatyana Grossman. She and her husband, Moritz, a Russian painter, had just arrived in America. Tatyana had established a tiny lithography workshop in West Islip, Long Island; and after Mildred's evaluation and support, it evolved into ULAE - United Limited Arts Edition - where the most successful and highly sought after modern artists, such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, perfected their works on paper. Services at Temple Israel, 477 Longwood Avenue, Boston (parking available on the Riverway) on Monday, May 11, 2009 at 12:00 noon. Burial at Temple Israel Cemetery, Wakefield. The family will be receiving visitors at the home of Jonathan & Barbara Lee following the burial through 8pm and continuing on Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings from 6 until 8pm. Please omit flowers. Remembrances may be made to BIDMC Cancer Center, 330 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215 or the Harvard University Art Museum, Attn: Thomas Lentz, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge, MA 02138. Levine Chapels, Brookline 617-277-8300

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