1954 - 2012
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Lisa Maxine Reisman Halterman, 57, a local gallery owner and patron of the arts in Philadelphia for nearly four decades, died Wednesday, June 6, following a ten-year battle with cancer. She passed away at home surrounded by her family and friends.
Ms. Halterman came to Philadelphia in 1974 to study at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of the History of Art. She was just nineteen years old, but had been an avid collector for several years. She was returning to the States after living in London, and her interests resulted in a position at the Rittenhouse Gallery. Ms. Halterman made purchasing trips abroad which brought her into contact with prominent art dealers in Europe, and cemented her love of Art Nouveau design in all its forms.
Ms. Halterman's appreciation of history, and Philadelphia's history in particular, led to the purchase of a nineteenth-century townhouse near Rittenhouse Square in 1981. She executed an extensive and historically accurate restoration while pregnant with her eldest son, and was an advocate for the preservation of historic buildings. This passion for architecture became the basis for a career selling historic properties in Center City, and she achieved sales records at Robert Bruce Realty, Merrill Lynch, and Prudential.
Ms. Halterman also worked for nine years at the University of Pennsylvania, as graduate coordinator in the Bioengineering and Economics departments. She remained committed to an ever-expanding network of local non-profits, which included the Philadelphia Area Repertory Theatre, the Please Touch Museum, and the Rosenbach Museum.
Confronting an advanced breast cancer diagnosis in 2002, Ms. Halterman made a recovery and returned to work. By 2005, believing that time was not to be taken for granted, she launched an improbable third act in her career. Ms. Halterman revived the private art dealership she had begun in the late 1970s, and opened a three-story gallery half a block from Rittenhouse Square, Lisa M. Reisman et Cie, Ltd.
In addition to the original prints and posters by famed artists such as Mucha, Chagall, and Toulouse-Lautrec, Ms. Halterman made her gallery welcoming to a wide variety of local artisans, jewelers, and musicians. City organizations found an eager friend and supporter in Ms. Halterman's business: events were staged for the Philadelphia Film Festival, among others. Ms. Halterman remained working until a few weeks before her death.
Ms. Halterman was born on August 16, 1954, in Englewood, New Jersey. She was raised in Syracuse, New York, and attended high school in Athens, Georgia. Ms. Halterman studied at the University of Georgia, in Athens, and the University of Pennsylvania. She is survived by her two sons, Samuel and Benjamin, her mother, Dr. Fredricka Reisman, and her father, George Reisman.
Services will be held at noon on Saturday, June 9, at Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to the Lisa Maxine Reisman Halterman Fund to support Drexel Torrance Center for Creativity and Innovation scholarly activities, attention Linda Lee, Goodwin College, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Published on NYTimes.com from June 7 to June 8, 2012