Elfriede Abbe
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Elfriede Martha Abbe

1919-2012 MANCHESTER Elfriede Martha Abbe, 93, passed away Monday, December 31, 2012. Miss Abbe was born February 6, 1919 in Washington D.C., daughter of Cleveland Abbe, Jr. and Frieda (Dauer) Abbe.

Miss Abbe was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother, Ernst C. Abbe. Elfriede was a distinguished international sculptor, graphic artist and botanical illustrator. She received her B.F.A. degree from the College of Architecture at Cornell University in 1940. She studied sculpture under H.P. Camden and Brenda Putnam. From 1942 until her retirement in 1974, Miss Abbe was an illustrator at Cornell University.

Miss Abbe's wood and bronze sculptures are included in the permanent collections of the Bennington Museum, Carnegie Mellon University, McGill University in Montreal, the New York Botanical Garden, the Duke August Library in West Germany, and the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Miss Abbe's sculpture "The Hunter" was exhibited at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Graphics and wood etchings by Miss Abbe have been selected by many renowned national and international collections including the Thomas J. Watson Library at Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Throughout her long and productive career, Miss Abbe has been honored with many awards, including a Tiffany fellowship, a Roy A. Hunt Foundation grant, and Gold Medals from the National Arts Club, Pen and Brush, and several others.

Miss Abbe moved to Manchester, Vermont, from Ithaca, New York in 1974. Miss Abbe was a long-time member of the Southern Vermont Arts Center, where she has exhibited her sculptures, wood etchings and limited edition books. In 1997, Miss Abbe established the Dauer Memorial Foundation, in memory of her mother Frieda Dauer Abbe and her grandfather, Conrad Dauer, to finance memorial concerts at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.

Miss Abbe is survived by her nephew, Robert C. Abbe, his wife Elizabeth, her nephew, David C. Abbe, and many grandnieces and grandnephews.

At the request of the family, there will be no formal funeral service. Interment will take place in Lakeview Cemetery in Ithaca, New York.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Southern Vermont Arts Center through, c/o Brewster & Shea Funeral Home P.O. Box 885 Manchester Center, Verrmont 05255 .

The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Brewster & Shea Funeral Home 34 Park Place Manchester Center, Vermont.

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Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 19, 2013.