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William van Straaten

1937 - 2013
William "Bill" van Straaten, 76, died at his Denver home on December 23, 2013. He was born April 29, 1937 in Chicago, IL. to Herbert and Virginia van Straaten. Bill founded Chicago's van Straaten Gallery in 1969, a contemporary art gallery with an international reputation. He served as president of the Chicago Art Dealers Association and later established Riverhouse Editions, a fine print publisher, in Steamboat Springs with his wife and partner Jan. Bill was passionate about teaching young people about printmaking, particularly etching, the Riverhouse specialty. As a result, he and Jan requested each Riverhouse artist to sign a "college proof" to be donated to a college or university for the purpose of teaching. The van Straatens made a large gift of more than 90 such prints to the Mary and Leigh Block Museum at Northwestern University and collaborated with the University of Denver School of Art and Art History in the same pursuit for several years. In 2008, Bill moved to Denver and acquired the Sandy Carson Gallery on Santa Fe Drive, which operated as the van Straaten Gallery for five years before closing in 2012.Bill is survived by Jan, their daughter Hallie, three children from an earlier marriage: Tracy, Justine and Derek (Abigail); Ginger Kenyon, and Bill's brother Thomas (Nadine) of Aspen. Private services will be held in Chicago on Monday, December 30. Memorial donations may be made to www.woundedwarriorsproject.org or www.americanrivers.org.

Published in Denver Post on Dec. 29, 2013
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