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Martha Lee Lanman Struever


1931 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Martha Lee Lanman Struever Obituary
Martha Lee "Marty" Hopkins Lanman Struever, the grande dame of the American Indian art world, died peacefully at age 85 on Saturday, Sep. 24, 2017. Marty was born Nov, 14, 1931, the only child of country doctor Lester Harper Hopkins, M.D., and Eva Montalie (Neill) Hopkins. She grew up in Versailles, a small Indiana town of 500. After earning a B.S. in Home Economics from Purdue University in 1953, Marty attended the prestigious Tobé-Coburn School for Fashion Careers in New York City. She married Richard Burnham "Dick" Lanman, Sr. on November 16, 1953 and moved to Bad Nauheim, Germany where Dick was stationed with the United States Army. Their first son, Richard, was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, and their second son, Todd, was born in Hammond, Indiana after their return to the United States. At age 35, Marty was tragically widowed when Dick, the love of her life, died of leukemia in 1966. After Dick's passing, Marty stepped in to manage the Lanman Ace Hardware Store in Munster, Indiana, while caring for her two small boys. On Feb. 5, 1972, Marty married Edgar Allen "Bud" Cusick in Munster (div. 1988). On Nov. 23, 1988, she married Stuart McKee Struever, Ph.D., professor and chair of archeology and anthropology at Northwestern University. In 1970, Marty drove to the Southwest with her two sons and bought her first piece of American Indian pottery, a piece by Maria Martinez and her son, Popovi Da. This began a lifelong passion collecting and selling American Indian art. In 1976 she founded the Indian Tree Gallery to introduce notable Indian artists to metropolitan Chicago, particularly those from the American Southwest. In her first year she featured Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo, who was then recognized and feted at the Art Institute of Chicago at the age of 94. She also brought famous Hopi jeweler, Charles Loloma, to the gallery sparking collaborations and a lifelong friendship that would span four decades. Marty focused on identifying promising young Native American artists and her assistance catalyzed their careers. This was the case with Gail Bird and Yazzie Johnson, Richard and Sharon Chavez, Dextra Quotskuyva and so many more. All of whom would become family to her over the years. In 1991 Marty moved the gallery to Santa Fe, New Mexico to be closer to the artists she represented. Here she expanded her highly regarded Native American Art field trips that brought collectors to the homes of the artists whose work they collected. Many trip participants returned numerous times over the four decades these expeditions were conducted, with Marty and Indian artists providing in depth educational talks. Marty's trips through the Navajo and Pueblo lands continued until last year. She was frequently consulted by museums and academics for her expertise on historical and contemporary American Indian Art and she acted as a guest curator for multiple museum exhibitions in several cities. Recognized as an authority on the art and native artists of the Southwest, Marty was the foremost expert on the pottery of Nampeyo, the jewelry of Loloma, and many others. Marty's academic accomplishments culminated in authorship of two books about Southwestern Indian artists: "Painted Perfection: The Pottery of Dextra Quotskuyva" in 2001 and "Loloma: Beauty is His Name" in 2005. In 2006, She received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association "for contributions to the understanding and preservation of tribal art". In 2015 the Wheelwright Museum dedicated the first permanent museum gallery devoted to Native American Jewelry, The Martha Struever Gallery, in her honor. Marty's philanthropic work has included judging for many years at the Santa Fe Indian Market, and hosting nine Indian art shows in Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Denver, bringing 25 native artists to each event, for the benefit of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Marty spent her life helping to shape the careers of those she loved, from her two sons, to the many American Indian artists whose lives she touched. Marty leaves behind her two sons and their families. Richard Burnham "Rick" Lanman, M.D., his wife, Alanna Purcell Lanman and their five sons: Richard Burnham "Fritz" (Melissa) Lanman, James Purcell Lanman, Maxwell Hopkins Lanman, Connor Hayes Lanman and Christopher Wingate "Lambie" Lanman as well as her great-granddaughter, Theodora Middleton Lanman. Todd Hopkins Lanman, M.D., his wife Gretchen Thomas Lanman and his two children Avery Wingate Lanman and McCall Eleanor Lanman. A private memorial honoring Marty and her husband Dick Lanman was held on October 6, 2017, at the Cliff View Cemetery in Versailles, Indiana. A public celebration of her life is planned for June 9th, 2018 at The Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe. Donations may be made in Marty's name for scholarships to Hopitutuqaiki, The Hopi School http://www.hopischool.net (928) 734-2433 and/or the Martha Hopkins Struever Gallery at the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe https://wheelwright.org/ (505) 982-4636.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Feb. 15, 2018
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