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  • "Farewell to Aunt Bebe, one of the world's most remarkable..."
    - Marte Brengle
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WRISTON--Barbara, died peacefully at home July 2, 2013, three days after her 96th birthday. Daughter of Ruth B. and Henry M. Wriston (President of Brown University 1937-1955); sister of Walter B. Wriston (Chairman of Citicorp 1968-1984); fond sister-in- law of Kathryn D. Wriston; beloved aunt of Catherine W. Quintal (husband Richard) and great-aunt of Christopher W. Quintal (wife Sara) and Barbara Catherine Quintal. An Art Historian and Museum Educator, Barbara received a B.A. from Oberlin University, an M.A. from Brown University and, in 1977, an Honorary D.Litt from Lawrence University. She began her distinguished career at the Museum of Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1939; in 1944, she became a Lecturer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and in 1961 was appointed Executive Director of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago. Barbara was a Life Trustee of Chicago's Newberry Library; a Benjamin Franklin Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London; Trustee of the New York Public Library and Kentucky's Frontier Nursing Service. Her scholarly and entertaining book, "Rare Doings At Bath" was published by the Chicago Art Institute in 1978. Through her generous support and love for Lawrence University, she helped create and fund the Wriston Art Center Galleries there. In 1980, Barbara "retired" and moved to New York City; she became very involved with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, joining the Friends of The American Wing and the Visiting Committee for the Department of American Decorative Arts (which were her passion). In her later years, she endowed a Curatorship in the American Wing of the Museum in memory of her mother. Refusing to be outshone by her famous father and brother, Barbara was a brilliant, talented, gallant and indomitable figure; an ardent feminist, gifted educator, intrepid traveler to all parts of the globe, and a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, sister-in-law and friend. A Memorial service will be planned later this summer. Donations in Barbara's memory can be made to the Wriston Art Center at Lawrence University; to the Barbara Wriston Scholarship Fund at Lawrence; or to the Newberry Library.

Published in The New York Times on July 7, 2013